2015 New Plymouth World Cup – The pre race hype
South Africa’s Richard Murray and Vendula Frintova (CZE), will both wear the number one bibs on Sunday but with 145 athletes represented by 37 countries lining up over the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) nothing is guaranteed. There are so many quality athletes capable of making up the podium. What we can guarantee is another super quick thriller with the urgency from countries and athletes to earn qualification points for Rio.
We had a quick chat with a few favourites but also highlighted some other chances and interesting athletes that make up the field.
Richard Murray (RSA)
On racing in New Plymouth
“I had a good first event in Abu Dhabi. I’m looking forward to New Plymouth, I hear there is a bit of rain coming so should be an interesting race,” Murray said.
Ryan Sissons (NZL)
On racing in New Plymouth:
“I raced as a junior many years ago but last year was the first time really in a World Cup when I finished 6th. I like the course and was happy with my race last year in what was a strong field, I am looking forward to another hard race against another decent field. There is some history here for New Zealand athletes dating back a few years now so it will be nice to continue that on.”
“It is a week before Auckland so you go in reasonably fresh but I have still had a solid week of training with just a couple of days that are a bit easier. I want a good race and want to be at the pointy end of the field and build on that in Auckland. It is early season but I am looking to test myself and see where I am at.”
Vendula Frintova (CZE)
She is no stranger to this race with three previous appearances. After mechanical issues in Abu Dhabi she is searching for a consistent performance on Sunday.
On the race
I’ve been training in New Zealand this past week, so it was just a short road trip down.
On her hopes:
“I would like to be a bit more consistent in races, I’ve been training well in the winter and like to see that in the race"
Sophie Corbidge (NZL)
Here first New Plymouth race:
“I haven’t raced in New Plymouth before, last year I was injured so didn’t come down. Actually that is not completely correct, this will be my first full triathlon in New Plymouth but I have raced here before in a team. It was way back in the year that the family arrived from the UK, I think it was a 3:9:3 beginner’s race and I swam for my team – I think we finished second that day. So I guess I do have some form in New Plymouth to fall back on!”
The course and 2015 season
“I have heard about it and I think it will suit me, it is apparently fast and technical with a bit of a climb on the bike and a flat run which suits me, and the sprint distance is something in enjoy as well.
“We are gradually but surely building towards our pinnacle event this year which for me is the World Champs in September, but at the same time I need to be earning ITU and Olympic ranking points and it is in my nature anyway that I will give it 110% regardless of the situation.”
Alan Webb (USA)
32 year old Webb is a work in progress but judging by his season opening 7th place at the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup a fortnight ago, he is on the right path. A former track star, Webb holds the American mile record (3:46:91) so if he is there on the run, look for that leg speed to be a factor in a possible upset. Has a personal best of 13:10:86 over the 5000metre distance that will be run on Sunday.
Gonzalo Raul Tellechea (ARG)
Latin America has produced the odd star in the sport but is perhaps still an untapped source as triathlon continues to spread around the globe. A top ten in Mooloolaba hinted at better things in 2014 for the 29 year old, this after winning the South American Champonships in La Paz earlier this year.
Ron Darmon (ISR)
If Latin America is an unlikely source for triathletes, then many will be shocked to see Israel represented on the start line. But it is not such a shock for 23 year old Ron Darmon, his sister Kim is one of the leading women triathletes in Israel, and two of his brothers and another sister are amateur triathletes. Ron’s father is also a triathlete, competing in Ironman competitions, and his mother is a member of the Israeli Triathlon Association board and head of the medical committee. You could say the family is very supportive of Darmon’s career choice…!
Kaitlin Donner (USA)
The American women are just so powerful at the moment and there is another group pushing the likes of Jorgensen, True (nee Groff), Katie Zaferes and Lyndsey Jerdonek hard and in amongst them is 25 year old Kaitlin Donner. A breakthrough top ten performance at the Abu Dhabi WTS season opener in 2015 suggests she is ready to race at the front of the field on Sunday.
Tamara Gomez-Garrido (ESP)
Talking of breakthrough performances, the former World Junior Duathlon Champion looks to be back from two years of injury in the wilderness with a win in Mooloolaba a week ago. One of only two athletes in the race to go sub 17 minutes for the 5k run, watch for back to back podiums from the up and coming Spaniard – who is no relation to Javier Gomez by the way!
Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS)
How can we not mention one of our near neighbours? Aussie has such a proud record in the sport and in Sheedy-Ryan they have a number of athletes looking to bridge from ‘promising’ to ‘elite contenders’. While ‘Flick’ is no spring chicken, she may yet have her best years ahead as she puts the disappointment of missing the Glasgow Games through injury behind her and aims for a place in Rio 2016 wearing the green and gold.
Follow the race livetriathlon.org/live or on twitter @triathlonlive. Live coverage will feature a social media stream, live timing and text updates. There is no video coverage from this race.
The 2015 New Plymouth World Cup is on Sunday March, 22. The Elite women’s race starts at 12:30 noon local time, followed by the men’s at 2.30pm.
Find more details about this event - 2015 New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup
Images ITU/ Delly Carr