Triathlon: Dodds returns, 3 Kiwi debuts

Tony Dodds during the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland. Photo / Photosport
Tony Dodds during the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland. Photo / Photosport

This weekend the second race in the World Triathlon Series on the Gold Coast will feature six Kiwi men three of which will be debuting in their first WTS race in the Elite Men's field.

Trent Thorpe (AKL) who stepped up last week at the New Plymouth World Cup will be racing on debut. He had a great swim, exiting the water in the front pack with South Africa's Henri Schoeman.

Coach, Bruce Hunter says that Thorpe has come away from that event with a lot more confidence.

"It was a good result for him, concerning just getting the race done. He swam and biked well but running is still coming along," he said.

"With this race, he's looking to have another good swim and hopefully be in that front pack on the bike and then see how the rest of the race unfolds."

Alongside Thorpe, Dan Hoy and Tayler Reid will be looking to make their presence known amongst the strong and challenging field.

Hoy, who has recently returned from competing in the Super League Triathlon that featured World Champions and Olympians will be hoping to build on that elite experience for this race.

Returning in his first race of the season is NZ Olympian, Tony Dodds. A stress fracture early on in the year has kept him from most of the NZ competition.

The race will be a bit of a shock for Dodds as he re-programs his body for elite action.

"The swim will be the benchmark as I had eight weeks off swimming due to the stress fracture so will get through that then assess the race from there," he said.

It's been tough sitting out some of the key NZ events; OTU Kinloch and the ITU World Cup in New Plymouth. However, Dodds is comforted by the amount of racing in the international calendar this year and said, "the best thing is that there are so many races this year, so it's really only kicking off for me."

With more development athletes from NZ coming through, Dodds will be keen to make sure he's ahead of the younger blood this weekend.

"All we want to do is beat each other.... which is great!" he said.

"And to be one of the old boys, you don't want a young buck beating you, but that is competition and rivalry, that's what I suppose is enjoyable... the rivalry, pecking order, alpha male, etc., it's all part of it," he said.

The rivalry isn't always on his mind though, and Dodds believes there is a time and place for that. Last year, he invited Sam Ward to train with him before the build up towards the Rio Olympic Games.

Since then, Ward has seen some success with his third place at the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup event in March.

- NZ Herald

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