Dodds having the race of his life in Kitzbuhel. Credit: triathlon.org - Janos Schmidt - ITU
Wanaka’s Tony Dodds proved the best of the Kiwis in Austria yesterday, finishing 10th at the Kitzbuhel round of the ITU World Triathlon Series.
The top 10 placing is a career best for Dodds, and a sign of the considerable promise the 25-year-old has shown during and since his junior career.
After a fast swim and bike, Dodds was pleased he was able to remain strong throughout the run.
â€œI’ve been doing a lot of work on my strengths and weaknesses with my coach Tim Brazier, and I think that’s starting to come through,â€ he said.
â€œIn the past I’ve been going into races quite nervous and that affects you mentally. Today I was just focussing on the process and not the end result.
â€œI had nothing to lose really so I ran as hard as I could during the first few kilometres of the run. Running alongside the likes of Laurent Vidal I was like â€˜wow, I’ve never been up here before’ and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
â€œTo be able to hold strong over the final stages has given me a lot of confidence. To get a top 10 in a World Series race is fantastic, I’m really stoked.â€
For Dodds the 10th placing was more than just staking his claim to be included in the Kiwi team post Docherty and Gemmel. Last year he was incredibly lucky to not be seriously injured after going through the back window of a car while out on a training ride while based in Germany.
New Zealand Olympic reserve Clark Ellice also raced well, finishing 15th overall thanks to a spirited effort in the swim and bike.
â€œIt was a pretty solid result for me. I swam strongly and rode aggressively on the bike, but had a few stomach issues on the run and that’s what got me.â€
London bound Bevan Docherty felt the effects of fatigue following his late arrival from Santa Cruz in California for the race, coming in 22nd. Bryce McMaster (still racing under ITU) finished 25th.
The race was won by Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee, with his brother Jonathan second and Spain’s Javier Gomez third.
Triathlon New Zealand National Coach Greg Fraine was happy overall with the results from the Kiwi men.
â€œIt was a quality field, one of the better fields of the year and Tony and Clark really stepped up today,â€ Fraine said.
â€œTony was running shoulder to shoulder with some great athletes. It’s a testament to the hard work he’s been putting into training and shows he’s on target for Rio in 2016.
â€œBevan struggled today, he said he was just feeling flat. For Kitzbuhel he was trialling the best time to arrive into European time zone and still have a good performance. It’s certainly not the result he was hoping for but he has taken away some learnings.â€
The next round of the ITU World Triathlon Series is in Hamburg, Germany on July 21st and 22nd.