The ITU World Cup circuit moves to Montreal this weekend (Monday NZT) and for two New Zealand athletes, it marks an opportunity to further their fledgling careers in the sport, just as Montreal looks to put itself on the map with the first hosting of a World Cup event.
Sophie Corbidge (Cambridge) races on the international stage for the first time in over a year after dealing with and overcoming a number of health issues, including adrenal fatigue.
The vivacious 22 year old is delighted to be back racing, but more importantly back to something near full health.
"The World Cup in Montreal this weekend is my first race back in over a year! When I think of it like that, it's pretty exciting. I know this weekend will be a shock to the system, but I am extremely happy with how I am going at the moment. I am probably the happiest & healthiest I have ever been, and have had a solid block of consistent training since I started back in May.
"When I took the three months off I was worried that I would lose the passion I have for triathlon. I was scared that I would enjoy the downtime, and forget how much I love training and racing. However, my break did the complete opposite - my passion for the sport grew even more in this time, and I became even more motivated to get fit & healthy again.
"Montreal is the first of four races I have planned over the next few months, so will be an important starting point for me to develop into the athlete I know I can be. Honestly, I can't wait to race again!"
While Corbidge is just thrilled to be back in good physical shape to train and consider a return to racing, Nicole van der Kaay (Cambridge) is about to experience a quality of racing that she has never been in before, but the 20 year old can't wait to get in amongst it.
"This weekend marks my third ITU World Cup, but essentially this will be my first international world class race outside of the Oceania area, so the field of athletes will be fast and fierce! I'm one of the youngest amongst the starters so hope to gain experience racing against some of world's best, and test the legs out before my first WTS debut in Edmonton, Canada in three weeks."
Coached by Jon Brown (as is Corbidge), van der Kaay has posted 16th (Mooloolaba) and 22nd (New Plymouth) in her previous two World Cup events and comes to Montreal on the back of a strong fourth place finish at the Osaka Asian Cup sprint event last month.
With the Rio Olympic race looming large, the Montreal event has attracted a stellar field as athletes look to get one final hit out before travelling to the Games and finishing their preparation.
The elite women's race in Montreal starts at 8:30am Monday 8th August.
Also on this weekend is the World University Triathlon Championships, in Nyon Switzerland. Competing for New Zealand are Kiri Atkin, Zac Barber and Maddie Dillon.