NZ Junior Tri Champs - Reid & Stannard take titles
The New Zealand Junior (U19) Triathlon Championships were raced in New Plymouth today, as part of the Quality Hotel Plymouth International ITU World Cup race schedule with Tayler Reid (Gisborne) winning his third U19 title in a row while Lizzie Stannard (Palmerston North) won the women’s.
Conditions were awful for the Junior races and while the weather fined up for the elite World Cup races later in the day, they proved testing for the Junior fields with heavy rain and a blustery wind making for testing conditions at Ngamotu Beach.
Reid (Gisborne) posted what was effectively a start to finish win as he dominated the race to win from Kyle Smith (Taupo) and Fynn Thompson (Queesntown), with Smith outsprinting Thompson in the race for the minor medals after the two had raced side by side for much of the event.
In the Junior Women’s event it was a different story, with winner Stannard (Palmerston North) having to fight through the field as Jaimee Leader (Palmerston North) broke clear in the swim and established a strong lead with two Australians Grace Hoitink and Laura Cook.
credit Scott Taylor/ITU
Reid was thrilled in winning his third U19 title after he and David Martin () rode strongly off the front of the race after the two emerged from the rough swim with a 15 second lead.
“That just felt great, the plan was to smash the swim and see how the race was developing on the bike. When I saw it was me and David Martin together, I knew he was a strong rider so I figured we could put some distance on the chasers – or at least maintain our lead. David was struggling a little early on so I let him take my wheel but he came good and was strong in the second part of the ride and that gave us some more time.”
Stannard was delighted with her victory and crossed the line in remarkably fresh condition, considering she had to essentially ride solo from the chase group to close down Leader and the two Aussies before maintaining her form superbly on the run.
“I didn’t plan for it to go that way, I was further behind in the swim than I had hoped and when the group I was with wasn’t working hard enough together I rode off the front and set my sights on the leaders. I just felt strong on the run and maintained my form throughout.”
Badham’s race was stunning too – at least once she had cleared the water. After exiting the water in 10th place over a minute and a half behind the leaders, Badham proceeded to post the quickest bike and run splits to snare silver from a tiring Leader.
Aussies Hoitink and Cook were third and forth over the line but were not eligible for the medals in the New Zealand Championships.
Triathlon New Zealand High Performance Director Graeme Maw spoke of the opportunity for the young athletes to race in an ITU environment.
“I want to say a big thank you to Terry Sheldrake and the organisers here for making this race possible. The chance for developing athletes to take part in a draft legal race on a fully closed course and with all the trimmings of an ITU World Cup is tremendous. The athletes and the coaches will gain so much from this opportunity, both in the racing but also in how to prepare for and cope with all the external activities in such a race as an ITU World Cup.”
New Zealand Junior Triathlon Championships
Sprint Distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run)
Junior Men (U19)
1 Tayler Reid, Gisborne, 57:11
2 Kyle Smith, Taupo, 57:51
3 Fynn Thompson, Queenstown, 57:52
Junior Women (U19)
1 Lizzie Stannard, Palmerston North, 1:06:10
2 Katherine Badham, Auckland, 1:06:38
3 Jaimee Leader, Palmerston North, 1:07:13