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Ward Spotlights Great Young Talent with Podium in Banyoles

Ward Spotlights Great Young Talent with Podium in Banyoles

19 year old Sam Ward continued the great recent results for the young New Zealand triathletes working with Talent Development Coach Tim Brazier in Cambridge and of late in Europe, with a podium at the Banyoles European Cup event overnight NZT.

Ward finished in the bronze medal position on the back of a wonderfully executed race plan, Brazier reports.

“For the boys, I’m very stoked for Sam, he has been working hard alongside Tony and Ryan and is starting to reap the rewards. He executed a near perfect race today in hot conditions, swimming at the front, staying within the front of the bunch all the time, and then conserving energy during the early stages of the run, before starting to push the pace come the last lap. It was a quality field, not your standard European cup, with Olympians, WTS podium athlete and WC podium athletes all present.

“Andy (Ranford) also raced the men’s, positioning himself well in the front bunch early on before crashing on the bike, however he gets my ‘hard arse’ award for biking back solo to the front pack, riding with one hand for 2 laps on the bike, the running with a very bruised up hip to finish 35th, inside the top half of the field.”

Ward was surprised at his performance in what was his first Olympic distance event in this company.

“To be honest I didn't know what to expect coming into my first Olympic distance triathlon here in Banyoles, all I knew is that I have had an awesome block of training and I was ready to step up and be amongst the podium positions throughout the race. I felt comfortable during the swim coming out in 7th and from then on it was all about positioning well on the bike to conserve energy and have a good T2 so that I was at the front of the race as soon as I put my running shoes on.

“The run was hot, each water station was critical to prevent over heating in the 30+ degree temperature, one athlete broke away with one lap to go leaving three of us to fight for silver and bronze, with 200 to go I made a surge which dropped the French athlete but unfortunately Peter Kerr surged again to run away with silver.

“Tim and I have been working hard together to improve my weaknesses and it is great to be rewarded for that. I have been lucky to be able to train alongside Ryan and Tony over the past six months, they have been awesome athletes to look up to and they continuously help me to improve my performance along with Tim, Greg, Jon, Rone and Rob whose immense support allow me to achieve these results.”

In the women’s, Anneke was impressive backing up from a hard race in Geneva last week. She finished 4th last week, and 4th again this week, running strongly from the front bunch on tired legs. The rest of the ladies positioned themselves well post great swims into the front bunch on the bike, and whilst finished respectively in 8th (Simone), 9th (Sophie) and 11th (Deb Lynch), the were all disappointed with their run performances especially and itching to get back into training to make sure they get it right over the next month.

Unfortunately for Maddie she had a foot niggle, and after positioning herself very well with a strong swim and bike, it flared up in the run and she had to pull out.

Two other finishers were Alexi Petrie in 53rd and Laura Wood 25th, both in their first year of racing.

Full results CLICK HERE


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