Ashleigh Gentle hopes ITU Triathlon Mooloolaba World Cup will be passport to success

Commonwealth Games triathlete Ashleigh Gentle has been happy to leave her passport in the bottom draw for now until she is ready to take on the world in this year’s World Triathlon Series as she chases her Olympic dream in Rio.

The 24-year-old Gold Coaster will make her 2015 season debut in Saturday’s ITU Triathlon Mooloolaba World Cup on the Sunshine Coast after an injury-free training block.

Ash Gentle Latest run (946x738)Gentle will joined by outstanding Canadians, former ITU world number one Paula Findlay, defending champion Sarah-Anne Brault and last week’s runaway Oceania Cup winner in Wollongong Amelie Kretz as well as Austria’s Lisa Perterer and Japan’s Yurie Kato.

After a disappointing London Olympics, Findlay has slowly but surely worked her way back, with an encouraging second place finish to Switzerland’s Olympic champion Nicola Spirig in the Cartagena World Cup, Columbia, last October.

At her best Findlay will emerge as the girl to keep at bay while team mates Brault and Kretz showed their colours in Wollongong, with Kretz out-running the field with Brault second.

The Mooloolaba World Cup will see the Elite Women start at 11.45am and the Elite Men at 1.30pm over the Sprint distance of 750m swim; 20km bike and 5km run.

Gentle declined the opportunity to race at the opening WTS round in Abu Dhabi last weekend, electing to stay at home to prepare herself for Mooloolaba and limiting her long distance early season travel.

“We decided that Mooloolaba would be an ideal start before I race three WTS races in Auckland, the Gold Coast and Yokohama,” said Gentle.

“Auckland and Yokohama are close with the Gold Coast in between and the travel time is limited so that’s how we wanted it early on.

“When the time comes to do the big trips then I’ll be excited to go with the main aims being the Rio qualification race and the ITU World Championships grand final in Chicago.”

Gentle said her main goal in this preparation was to remain injury free after being plagued in recent times with a nagging foot injury.

She knows the first race is always painful but the former ITU World Junior champion is excited to be racing again.

And she is no stranger to the World Cup podiums, having chalked up World Cup victories in Edmonton in 2011 and Tiszaujvaros in 2012.

Gentle will be joined by several other Australians including  former ITU World Duathlon Champion Felicity Sheedy-Ryan and recently crowned OTU Devonport Oceania and Australian Elite and Under 23 champion Jaz Hedgeland.

Hedgeland has thrived under coach Dan Atkins since joining him on the Gold Coast last year and the former three-time Australian Junior champion will be one to keep an eye on as the race unfolds.

Also chasing valuable rankings points will be Ellie Salthouse, who was third in the under 23s in Devonport and Wollongong; training partners Natalie Van Coevorden (4th in the OTU Wollongong Oceania Cup) and Grace Musgrove (2nd in the Australian Championship in Devonport).

Meanwhile Van Coevorden, who decided against racing Devonport to concentrate on a race in “her second home” Wollongong, knows she will be better for her second hit out of the season after a disappointing race in Kinloch.

“It was nice to get back into the swing of racing and make the most of having an OTU race on home soil,” said Van Coevorden.

“My run is still something I want to work on, stay injury free and get stronger throughout the year. I am looking forward to Mooloolaba World Cup

“I looked at Wollongong as a good training race leading into Mooloolaba as I missed Devonport.”

The Subaru Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival will be held from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 March 2015.

For event information visit www.mooloolabatri.com.au

 

Elite men’s preview to follow.

 

The Subaru Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the State.

 

For media enquiries contact
Ian Hanson
Hanson Media Group  | on behalf of Triathlon Australia
[email protected]

Courtney Akrigg

IRONMAN Asia-Pacific

[email protected]

 

What’s coming up……

 

THURSDAY: Australian Youth Championships

 

FRIDAY: 2015 Sunshine Coast ITU World Paratriathlon

 

SATURDAY: 2015 Mooloolaba ITU World Cup

 

SUNDAY: 2015 OTU Triathlon Oceania Cup

 

GOLD COAST TO HOST ROUND THREE OF THE WTS: The world’s best triathletes will descend on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia), as they take on round three of the International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series, on Saturday 11 April 2015.

 

Australian entries….

 

Mooloolaba (AUS) World Cup (March 14,15)

Sprint Distance (750m; 20km; 5km)

 

MEN

Jake Birtwhistle (TAS)

Cameron Good (NSW)

Declan Wilson (ACT)

Kenji Nener (WA)

Courtney Atkinson (QLD)

Matt Baker (NSW)

Peter Kerr (VIC)

Jesse Featonby (ACT)

 

WOMEN

Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)

Gillian Backhouse (QLD)

Natalie Van Coervorden (NSW)

Jaz Hedgeland (WA)

Grace Musgrove (NSW)

Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (WA)

Ellie Salthouse (QLD)

 

New Plymouth (NZL) World Cup (March 21, 22)

Sprint Distance (750m; 20km; 5km)

 

MEN

Kenji Nener (WA)

Luke Willian (QLD)

Courtney Atkinson (QLD)

Drew Box (QLD)

Jesse Featonby (ACT)

WOMEN

Natalie Van Coervorden (NSW)

Grace Musgrove (NSW)

Erin Densham (NSW)

Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (WA)

Ellie Salthouse (QLD)

 

 

Auckland (NZL) World Triathlon Series (March 28, 29)

Standard Distance (1.5km; 40km; 10km)

 

MEN

Aaron Royle (NSW))

Ryan Bailie (WA)

Dan Wilson (QLD)

Jake Birtwhistle (TAS)

Brendan Sexton (NSW)

Cameron Good (NSW)

WOMEN

Emma Moffatt (QLD)

Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)

Emma Jackson (QLD)

Gillian Backhouse (QLD)

Erin Densham (NSW)

Charlotte McShane (NSW)

 

Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.