One of this season's largest representations of triathletes from New Zealand will line up at the Edmonton World Series Event this weekend, in the penultimate round of the series with just the Grand Final in Cozumel left to race later this month.
Canada is a chance for Olympic athletes to refocus on winning races, earning points and reaching the season ending podium following the Mexico Grand Final on the weekend of the 17th/18th September, while for others it is a continuation of their season and in the case of Sophie Corbidge, another exciting challenge on her return to racing after time away from the sport.
The Rio trio of Andrea Hewitt, Nicky Samuels, and Ryan Sissons will feature for New Zealand (fourth Olympian Tony Dodds is racing in a French Grand Prix this weekend), alongside Simone Ackermann, Rebecca Spence, Sophie Corbidge, Nicole van der Kaay and Sam Ward, with Ward looking for a strong performance in his final tune up before the U23 World Championships in Cozumel.
Canterbury's Hewitt goes into the race ranked 5th in the world and well in contention for an overall podium finish in the 2016 World Triathlon Series, with a number of the athletes ahead of her having raced in one more points scoring event.
Having missed the early part of the season as she recovered from off-season surgery, Samuels is looking forward to a strong end to her 2016 campaign in the weeks ahead, and describes what has been as much a mental battle as it has been physical to get ready for this weekend post Rio..
"With Rio being the peak race of the year and with so much surrounding it can make it a little harder to keep focused at training and pick yourself up again for the last races of the year, but I thought equally going into Edmonton would be great in the sense of carrying that form and base from Rio.
"Pre Rio I was pleased at some of my run speeds so I am looking forward to seeing what I had in a sprint race here in Canada. However, my body has had other ideas. I did some easy training for a couple of days after arriving in Edmonton but unfortunately haven't been out of bed for the last three days straight so I am not sure what the body will have back by the weekend but will be giving it everything I can.
"Once on the start line it will be a case of emptying the tank and giving it all I can. The course is great, they are treating the water this week so it is good to swim in, the cycle section includes a solid hill and the run is relatively flat - and all in a really nice part of Edmonton. Since early this week we have seen them setting up and getting ready, Edmonton is so organised its awesome."