Nicole van der Kaay has landed another thrilling win during the ASTC Asia Cup in Osaka over the weekend. A week after her sprint finish Gamagori, Nicole is feeling sharp and confident as she builds into her international season.
It was a special race for the NZ U23 athlete who was recently named in the squad for racing in Rotterdam later this year.
"It was a technical course, and it made for a clinical ride throughout the race so you could never quite relax on the cycle leg," she said.
"The goal of the race was to get off the bike in one piece," she said.
Nicole admitted this was the first time she felt in control, having led alongside Japanese rival, Yurie Matsuda right to the very end.
"I surprised myself," she said.
"Usually I'm the one holding onto the girls in front of me, but it was definitely a battle. Last week I finished with a sprint finish, so I backed myself in the final leg of this race to do the same and came away with the result," she said.
The wins across two consecutive weekends have given the youngster a huge confidence booster, but she knows there's still room for improvement.
"I've been able to identify what areas need working on while racing here in the Asian Cup, and there's plenty of that for sure."
"I'll be focussing on warm up procedures and making sure I'm firing from the start of the swim in my next event," she said.
Nicole will be back in New Zealand for a three-week training block before she jets off to race in the World Triathlon Series in Edmonton.