Nicky Samuels has continued her great early season form and again suggested she is a definite contender for the third and final place on the New Zealand team for the Bejing Olympics with a victory at the Contact Energy My Sport Series in Timaru, New Zealand on the weekend, in doing so defeating training partner and Beijing rival Andrea Hewitt.
Conditions were superb and the location received a big thumbs up from all athletes with a calm swim, a testing bike and run all under cloudless skies and in warm temperatures.
While both athletes are playing down the significance of the result in what was a non draft legal early season race (Mooloolaba qualifying race and the Olympics are draft legal), Samuels once again enjoyed her day at work.
The swim was beautiful in calm clear conditions and I managed to stay in touch with Andrea this was my goal. My transition was great and I came out onto the bike leg in front and stayed there, eventually enjoying a two minute lead into the run.
Mooloolaba and Olympic qualifying will be so much different to this though. The swim can pan out differently and with a draft legal bike a few meters can mean a different group on the bike leg.
Samuels is in a good place at the moment and appears to be reveling in the hard training and racing regime.
I am happy with my training in Wanaka and loving the sport and enjoying myself. I have to keep up the work into Mooloolaba and continue to improve. Today though I was most pleased with my run, havent put a good run together for a little while. My swimming has been good and I am cycling well but will keep working on the run, today was great though.
Samuels will race again in Napier but in the meantime will head to the Tri NZ altitude training camp at Snowfarm (Wanaka). The Whangarei athlete is enjoying the Contact Energy My Sport series, using race days as hard training days to complement the rest of her programme.
Hewitt meanwhile never really got going after a good swim.
The swim was good, I felt comfortable. The bike though was just okay and riding by yourself is a different thing altogether than draft legal racing. I had to stop a couple of times on the run towards the end, Im not sure why to be honest but I feel fine now.
Hewitt will remain at her home in Christchurch to continue her training while racing a couple of times at the Canterbury Championships and the Wellington round of the Contact Energy My Sport Series (doubling as the national championships), all with an eye on Mooloolaba in late March.
Contact Energy Cup Race Timaru, New Zealand
1500m Swim / 40km Cycle / 10km Run
1 - Nicky Samuels 2.04.22
2 - Andrea Hewitt 2.08.03
3 - Janine Sax 2.15.28
1 - Stephen Sheldrake 1.57.08
2 - Bobby Douglas 2.00.45
3 - Dylan McNeice 2.01.19