By ITU Admin on 06/08/09 at 12:00 am
New Zealand are sending a nine strong team to this weekends ITU Triathlon World Cup in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, with every one of the team a member of the Tri NZ 2012 Potential Group in the High Performance squad.
Wanakas Nicky Samuels is the highest ranked of the Kiwis and is targeting a podium finish on a fast and flat course that will not necessarily favour the 26 year old who is renowned for her strength on the bike. Samuels has raced in Hungary just once previously, finishing 15th in 2007.
The World Cup in Tiszaujvaros will be not as tough as the World Championship Series so I expect a better result this weekend, said Samuels. From looking at the start list I see a lot of girls that are strong runners and not so strong in the swim so I will be looking to have a strong swim and try to stay away from the start.
If it comes down to one big bunch my chances of finishing on the podium will drop but so I will be looking to prevent that happening. This weekend will also determine how I race in London at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series a week later.
Samuels will be joined by Kate McIlroy (Wellington) and Rebecca Spence (Auckland) in the womens race. McIlroy has been one of the big movers in the sport this year, emerging from novice to top ten at a World Championship round in Kitzbhel. Sunday though is just another chance to gain vital experience.
I am looking forward to racing this weekend, said McIlroy. I have had one of the hardest months of training in my life here in Germany so it will be good to freshen up a little over the next few days and put it all together on Sunday. It is another good opportunity for me to race in a competitive world cup and gain some more race experience.
The mens race features a near full complement of New Zealanders from the Tri NZ 2012 Potential Squad, with Martin van Barneveld, James Elvery, Graham OGrady, Ryan Sissons and Tony Dodds all lining up.
Sissons has enjoyed his work at the Tri NZ High Performance base in Germany and is itching to race this weekend.
This weekend is looking like a great experience for all of the kiwis as there a six of us all really fit and ready to have a great race. Adding to the anticipation is the chance to put in practice an element of team racing under the guidance of Greg (National Coach Greg Fraine).
Training has been superb with some great weather the last two weeks at the base. My fitness is better than ever before but the swim is a little unknown with the main goal being in a few weeks time at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final on the Gold Coast.
Wellingtons Martin van Barneveld is looking forward to racing with his fellow Kiwis.
Having such a big group will give us a benefit over other teams as we can work together in the race and help each other out. We have discussed chasing down any breaks aggressively as a team.
We all know that there could be a chance of a breakaway out of the swim. So we have discussed team tactics and we all agree that we will do our best to help ride a gap down if we are together in the race.
This race is also the last opportunity for the likes of myself and Callum Millward to get some final points to help boost our ranking to see if we can squeeze into the Grand Final at Gold Coast. So a good result here would go a long way towards helping that.
Wanakas Tony Dodds is also racing with an eye on the World Champs but will take the chance to experiment a little.
This weekend will be a tough race with all the young guys out in full force, but for me its just to see how I am going four weeks out from the Gold Coast. Ill be trying different things and if it works out, great, otherwise it will be back to the more familiar race plan. If the team plan comes off as well then Im sure we are all going to be very stoked.
Callum Millward is another Kiwi under pressure to score good points to earn a start on the Gold Coast.
This is one of the last races of the season for me and important to continue to increase my ITU points ranking to ensure a start at Gold Coast worlds next month.
The Russians look to pose the biggest threat, being renowned swim/bikers they may look to ride away from the field. So collectively, the six of us may have to work together to shut down any attacks. Ive had a good block of training here in Germany and Im keen to transfer it into a good result.
Find more details about this event - 2009 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup