Triathletes Steel Themselves for Grand Final Effort
New Zealand Triathletes Steel Themselves for Grand Final Effort
New Zealand triathletes racing in Edmonton in the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final this weekend know they are in for the toughest race of the season but have done the work to best prepare themselves for that prospect.
The athletes have been hard at work since Glasgow, some like Andrea Hewitt, Nicky Samuels, Simone Ackermann and Tony Dodds racing in the Stockholm WTS sprint race last weekend (Hewitt winning silver and Samuels bronze) while others have chosen to race in European club Grand Prix events as a final hit out for Edmonton.
Tri NZ National Coach Greg Fraine says they have done the work and are ready.
“This is the pinnacle event, we had Glasgow as well of course but everyone fronts up to a grand final. There is pressure for us to perform but no more than any other race, we always want to perform at our best. We have raced in this quality of field numerous times already this year and of course being the World Championships we have our U19’s and U23 athletes here as well, it is quite cool to have them around.
“You could say there is a point to prove, we have done a lot of hard work since Glasgow, we looked at what we were doing and did a thorough debrief, made some changes and have seen some very good work done in the last period since Glasgow. Results in Stockholm were a reflection of that hard work, with Ryan and Kate staying back in Banyoles and training through.”
Nicky Samuels is coming off a career first WTS podium in Stockholm and is keen to carry that form into Edmonton.
“Stockholm was a great field, a few Aussies and Gwen Jorgensen were missing but other than that it was a strong field so to podium was a good result for that quality of field and hopefully I can achieve a similar result in Edmonton this week. Being a sprint was slightly different but it can depend on the bike group and whether you can get away or not.
“I came down from altitude two weeks earlier, I think that was a timely thing and maybe should have come even earlier. I had nine days of really good training in Banyoles with Jon my coach, it was good to have him as my running partner and you could see day to day what I was doing and being in closer contact rather than by email. If you have that form one week, you will have it a week later, I should have no problems backing up, especially being a sprint race. Hopefully Stockholm will have been a good indicator for a 10k run as well.
“I am purely focused on the race and my performance to get the best outcome I can, it is all down to the race and a good result will give you a good finish in the World Triathlon Series, there is no need to focus on any of the calculations.”
Hewitt was similarly pleased with her form after her first WTS podium in three years in Stockholm.
“It is always good to get a result and last weekend leaves me looking forward to this weekend. All year I have had the form, I have raced 12 times this year and never been out of the top six but to get on the podium was another step so it was good to show I still have it last week.
“Last week the race in Stockholm went the way I had planned, to get a break on the bike and to make that stick with less of the field to run against. That was the difference in making the podium compared to other races. I haven’t raced that many Olympic distances this year, it is just that this year the series has played out that way. This weekend the best of the best are here and everyone wants a good result, the course is pretty tough I think, a couple of hills on the bike so hopefully it will split the field and not leave it as just a running race.
“I have changed my training a little in the past month, we have done some miles on the bike and that showed in Stockholm with a strong ride. My swim as well has been improving this year, at the start of the year it was a little bit of a struggle but the swim and bike are my strengths at the moment.”
Ryan Sissons is also keen to ‘get back on the bike’ so to speak following the disappointment of missing a medal in Glasgow.
“You can never figure out how a race will shape up, there are always changes to what you think. It is a solid course and everyone is here ready to race, the Grand Final is always hard and everyone is in good shape. I am looking forward to being back on the start line and having a hard race.
“I have been in Banyoles in Spain, since Glasgow. I have had four weeks now, solid weeks of training after a few days off post Glasgow. I have got a lot of stuff done I am very pleased with, it has all gone well and looking to get over the travel and get the final few sessions in before we race on Sunday.”
Tri NZ HP
2014 ITU World Championships, Edmonton, Canada
(times are NZT- check www.triathlon.org for details)
Elite men and women covered live on Sky Sport – check guides for details
Junior Men (U19)
11:15am 30th August
Fynn Thompson, Queenstown
Jay Wallwork, Auckland
Junior Women (U19)
9am 30th August
Jaimee Leader, Palmerston North
Elise Salt, Auckland
8:30am 1st September
Sophie Corbidge, Auckland
Deb Lynch, Christchurch
6am 31st August
Rebecca Clarke, Auckland
Andrea Hewitt, Christchurch
Anneke Jenkins, Tauranga
Kate McIlroy, Wellington
Nicky Samuels, Wanaka
6am 1st September
Tony Dodds, Wanaka
Ryan Sissons, Auckland
For the complete schedule, live timing, start lists and other information, CLICK HERE