Auckland 2014 pre-race press conference highlights

Auckland 2014 pre-race press conference highlights

By Merryn Sherwood on 04/04/14 at 12:01 am

Ahead of the opening race of the 2014 World Triathlon Series, some of the sport’s top athletes met the press at the Cloud in Auckland on Friday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights of what Jonathan Brownlee, Gwen Jorgensen, Emma Moffatt, Charlotte McShane, Aaron Royle and Anne Haug had to say.

Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
On his preparation and expectations for the Auckland race:
“I’ve been in New Zealand for about three weeks now and it’s my first Olympic distance triathlon here, I did a longer distance one but that is completely different, so it is really my first race. New Plymouth has been a good place to train, I’ve enjoyed it. It has perfect quite roads for training and great places to run. Obviously from England it’s a long long way, so I needed three weeks get over the time difference. I’m looking forward to racing here, it’s a good course here, I enjoyed racing here in 2012, I think it’s a pure triathlon course. The swim is tough and it’s an incredibly tough bike so that makes it interesting and I’m looking forward to racing.”

On the increasing speed of Mario Mola on the run:
“Has it got any faster? I don’t know, I’ll tell you on Sunday. But Mario is someone that since a junior, well he beat me at the Junior world championships in 2009, so he’s an incredible athlete and I know how good he is and how fast he is at running. So seeing him do well is not a shock to me. I kind of expected it. But the racing is fast and it always has been fast. In London at the Olympics Alaistair ran 28:50 or whatever he ran to become Olympic champion so it always has been fast. We’ll wait and see on Sunday if it’s moved on, if I’m two minutes behind then maybe it has moved on.”

Gwen Jorgensen (USA)
On her expectations for the Auckland race:
“It’s good to come out and have the first WTS, it will be good to start it. I had a good race in Mooloolaba but that was a sprint race, a World Cup, so coming here another step up in competition and of the distance so that will be nice and exciting. Training is going pretty well so I’m excited to go out there and test myself on this course, you can’t really hide there are some hills and it will be good to see where everyone is at.”

Anne Haug (GER)
On her recovery from a virus in Mooloolaba and her expectations:
“I’m feeling better now, I think I’m in a good shape, my preparation was a little bit different this year. I started very late in the season. I joined the army and had to do the army based training, so my training started in January this year so I’ve only had a couple of months of training. So I’m not 100% sure of my shape, the training that I’ve done was really good and I feel good so I’ll go out there and do my best and see what happens.”

Emma Moffatt (AUS)
On her preparations for the Auckland race:
“I started my year this year with the Geelong 70.3, so I did a bit of half-ironman training over our summer and I think that gave me pretty god endurance and a good base for the rest of the year. Like Gwen I also did Mooloolaba, didn’t go as fast as her, but the last few weeks I’ve been working on my speed knowing that this is going to be a pretty hard race and that most of the top girls are going to be here. So hopefully I’m in good form.”

On the course:
“I haven’t actually raced this course before so it’s all new to me, but I hear it’s quite hard and hilly but hopefully that does well for me.”

Charlotte McShane (AUS)
On stepping up from winning the Under23 world title in 2013 to the series in 2014:
“It’s a huge step up from being competitive as an U23 to being competitive as an elite, but I guess that’s my focus this year, trying to make that transition. I think it will take a few years to make it but this is going to be a good start.”

Aaron Royle (AUS)
On his history on the course, winning the U23 World Championship in Auckland in 2012:
“I do like coming to New Zealand because it’s been really kind to me here, I won my first race in New Zealand in Kinloch in 2011 and to win the U23 world title in 2012 brings back special memories coming back here. It’s difficult to go from U23 racing to elite, it’s not easy, the quality of competition is obviously a lot harder. But I enjoyed last year and I challenged myself against Jonny and his brother and Gomez. But this is another year and I’m looking forward to challenging myself again.”

How to watch

The women’s race will start at 12:10pm local time on Sunday, April 6, while the men open their WTS season later in the day at 3:40pm local time. Find international start times here. If you haven’t already, buy your season pass to watch the races live at triathlonlive.tv. You can also follow along live on twitter @worldtriathlon. Don’t forget to pick your podium with our new fantasy triathlon game TRIFECTA.

Photo courtesy of Scott Taylor

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