Andrea Hewitt (Christchurch) backed up her strong showing at Kitzbuehel in Austria a fortnight ago with a repeat 4th place finish at the latest round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Hamburg this morning.
The Cantabrian looked close to something like her best form as she bridged to the leaders on the run over the sprint distance event in Germany in a result that propels the 31 year old to 5th on the world rankings.
â€œI’m really pleased, happy I was out in front of that race today. It was totally different to Kitzbuehel though and I didn’t know what to expect and just couldn’t’ manage it in the end.
â€œThe swim was rough; I was one of the last to make the front group but rode really hard to make the leaders on the first lap and caught up fast. The bike was full on with a few Germans working at the front so the pace was on which kept the runners in the second group as far back as possible. On to the run I started a few seconds behind Anne but I caught them after the first few kilometres.â€
Hewitt is looking forward to the World Mixed Relay Championships on a similar course tomorrow, albeit over much shorter distances (300m swim, 6.6km bike, 1.6km run).
â€œWe will see tomorrow how fast I can go; it is a totally different race tomorrow â€“ just on 20 minutes. I have done the relay twice before at World Champs, it is always fun racing. I have been first in the relay in both previous events so I know my position and know what to expect, it is always hard, just a 300m swim â€“ it is a lot of power.
â€œWe have a good team and are aiming for a good result tomorrow. We train together a lot; I’m not someone who trains by myself so racing as a team doesn’t seem too different. It is still individual performances as we are tagging each other so it is still individual but you then get to cheer your team mates on to the finish.â€
In the men’s race Ryan Sissons raced strongly as part of a breakaway group of 9 on the bike to eventually finish in 9th place and consolidate his world ranking of the same number with just Stockholm and the London Grand Final to race this season.
â€œThat is a performance I have been looking for for a fair while now this season. Training has been going well, I had a few hiccups in the New Zealand summer but since it has been going really well. I managed to have my swim coach Andrew Nicholls with me for four weeks; the swim has been a weak point in my race and while you can’t say one race proves you as a good swimmer you have to do it consistently.
â€œIt was hard on the bike, I am not used to that sort of riding, moving forward that is some of the stuff I need to work on now, while I had the quickest bike split, I didn’t do too much work on the bike, Gomez and the Brownlees did most of the work, if I am going to put myself in that situation I have to do more specific bike work to make sure I am fresh off a bike ride like that.â€
Sissons too is excited about prospects for the Mixed Team Relay Championships tomorrow.
â€œWe are all extremely excited about tomorrow, we have a really good all round team so we are looking forward to giving it a nudge tomorrow. To be fair the body is pretty sore after today, I haven’t put myself in this situation often before in a race, going from the front like that is pretty hard, but with a massage and ice bath and some good recovery and with a 3 o’clock start tomorrow I will be fine.â€
Tri NZ National Coach Greg Fraine reflected on a day of mixed results, with the only injury concern being a foot injury suffered by Bryce McMaster, the team reserve got tangled with one of the crowd barriers exiting the water and finished the race with a bruised and inflamed ankle.
â€œA mixed bag this morning, from a team perspective though it was encouraging, with everyone making front packs with the exception of Doddsy and Bryce, this was encouraging. Andrea’s fourth place is a fantastic effort and continues her progress through the season.
â€œThree women in the front pack was one of our goals, we wanted to put ourselves in a strong position. In the men’s race we are really pleased with Ryan, his swim has been a weakness this year but today he made the front pack with a massive effort to bridge up to the leaders. Those guys were hammering it the whole race on the bike and then carried on through the run so that was a good performance from Ryan today.
â€œTony (Dodds) is usually a sure bet for the swim so he was a little bit disappointed today, he sets high standards with his swim. Once he settled in a group he then went about his business on the bike and had a solid run.
â€œAside from Bryce all have come through well. The priority is recovery straight after the race, ice baths and massage and while some haven’t yet had dinner at 10pm here, it is a late start tomorrow so they will be fine.â€