Athlete expectations leading into 2018 New Plymouth World Cup

by Courtney Akrigg on 24 Mar, 2018 09:39 • Español
Athlete expectations leading into 2018 New Plymouth World Cup

For the eighth time in ITU history, the elites head to the iconic coastal city on the North Island of New Zealand for the 2018 New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup. Here’s what some of the top elite athletes think about the race only hours before the start.

Emma Jeffcoat (AUS)

On her first World Cup win: “Two weeks ago in Mooloolaba is a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. To have a home crowd and my first ever World Cup win with my mum and dad waiting at the finish line, I don’t think anything beats that. It’s given me a lot of confidence to move forward and believe that I can do it. I will be looking to continue that form through.”

On the new course and field in New Plymouth: “New Plymouth is dishing us a really tough course with a strong field. It’s going to take a really strong all-rounder who plays a smart game on the bike that still has enough in the legs to take the win.”

On connecting with triathlon: “The triathlon community is an inclusive community. You have a whole network of friends and fans. Those networks really allow people to follow and get to know athletes. It’s special.”

Amelie Kretz (CAN)

Ready to build on her last race: “It’s going to be a tough course and I am ready for a hard race and I am looking forward to building on my ninth in Mooloolaba. I’ll attack the course from the beginning. The harder, the better. My goal is going to take it as hard as I can.”

On striving to achieve: “I am always looking to get the best out of myself and I haven’t achieved what I know I can achieve in this sport and that makes me stick to it. I still have a lot of things to achieve.”

Andrea Hewitt (NZL)

Aiming for the top: “I’ve never been on the top of the podium here so I am looking forward to that on Sunday.”

On Commonwealth Games bound: “Straight from here I will head to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games and I am looking forward to it.”

On her secret to success: “I have been doing triathlon since 2005, I guess I have the experience that I have raced all over the world. It all comes down to the training, being consistent, healthy and being able to cope with the travel and enjoying yourself.”

Sam Ward (NZL)

Racing in front of a home crowd: “New Plymouth is the home town race so you just bring everything for that. I am really excited to get out there and charge as hard as I can.”

“I am looking forward to the new challenging course. I will try and stay at the front of the race and mix it up.”

Nicole Van Der Kaay (NZL)

Final preparations for Commonwealth Games: “New Plymouth is important leading into the Commonwealth Games.

Aiming for the podium in front of a home crowd: “It’s always nice to be in the race and racing for a shot for the medal and on home soil too. On Sunday, I am going to give it my all. I like to go hard.”

Andrea Hewitt, the idol: “Andrea (Hewitt) is inspirational. I have heaps to learn from her. She has been to multiple Games so it’s amazing to have her there with me at my first Commonwealth Games. Learning off the best.”

Wian Sullwald (RSA)

On the strong block of training leading into this race and next month’s Commonwealth Games: “Very excited to be here in New Plymouth. It’s been a long time since my last race, there’s been good preparations and with Commonwealth Games around the corner, I am feeling strong and super excited to test myself. I am back. I never left.”

Form and mindset: “It’s going to be a big test to see where my shape it. There’s no structure going into the race, more importantly racing is a lot more to me than just getting to the start line.”

Kirsten Kasper (USA)

On her early season form: “I’ve had a great start to the season and I am hoping to keep that form going and end up on the top step of the podium on Sunday.”

New Plymouth – the course and field: “It’s a very competitive field so to be honest so I have to execute all three disciplines and hopeful that’s enough for the day. I am excited to test out the new course, the bike looks challenging and the technical downhill.”

Matt McElroy (USA)

Season so far and high hopes for New Plymouth: “To be on the podium (in Mooloolaba) was an awesome way to start the season and build momentum throughout the rest of my season. New Plymouth last year I got second so I have high hopes to be on the podium again”

“When I go into this weekend my goal is to race really hard, put on a good show and compete. The new course is pretty challenging and I think it’s really going to separate some of the guys and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a breakaway.”

What will it take to win “It’s going to take a different mindset of wanting to go harder than anyone else.”

Catch the action live

The elite women’s race will get underway in the 2018 New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup at 12:00 local time on Sunday March 25, while the elite men will follow at 14:00 local time. Follow all of the action with live timing at, on twitter @triathlonlive and via the livestream on

Click here for the full women’s start list
Click here for the full men’s start list

Article gallery
Related Event: 2018 New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup
25 Mar, 2018 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Declan Wilson AUS 00:58:20
2. Sam Ward NZL 00:58:22
3. Matthew McElroy USA 00:58:24
4. Tyler Mislawchuk CAN 00:58:25
5. Matthew Sharpe CAN 00:58:26
Results: Elite Women
1. Kirsten Kasper USA 01:03:20
2. Nicole Van Der Kaay NZL 01:03:28
3. Claire Michel BEL 01:03:37
4. Taylor Spivey USA 01:03:50
5. Yuko Takahashi JPN 01:03:51
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