TRIATHLON - NEW PLYMOUTH
The International Triathlon Union has overnight released its schedule of international events for 2014 and shining brightly on the ITU World Cup calendar is a return to New Plymouth on March 22/23 next year.
After months of negotiation and hard work from a joint venture of partners including Venture Taranaki, the Oceania Triathlon Union and Triathlon New Zealand, the news was confirmed at the ITU Congress in London that New Plymouth will once again play host to some of the best triathletes in the world.
“The return of world-class triathlon to Taranaki is great news for the region,” says Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Stuart Trundle.
“Attracting an event of this calibre recognises and showcases the region’s natural environment, its event friendliness and its energetic community. It reflects the region’s uniquely Team Taranaki approach to delivering fantastic major events and will offer the aspiring athletes of Taranaki to be motivated and inspired by the world’s best triathletes.”
Oceania Triathlon Union President Terry Sheldrake has been one of the driving forces behind a return of elite level racing to New Plymouth and says the timing will fit in perfectly with other high level races in Oceania early in the year.
“The timing is perfect, a week after Mooloolaba World Cup and two weeks before the opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland; New Plymouth will serve as a perfect opportunity for some of the best in the world to enjoy a strong series of events ‘down under’.
“The sport has great potential for growth in the Oceania region and major events must be a part of that strategy. Adding the New Plymouth World Cup to the calendar provides another opportunity for young and aspiring elite athletes to gain vital international experience without the expense of travel to the other side of the world.”
Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh is looking forward to a suitably impressive addition to the summer racing programme.
“Tri NZ is excited by the commitment of the Taranaki region to host another world class ITU triathlon event next summer. We broke the mould in 2012 by hosting and then retaining a leg of the ITU World Champs Series in Auckland through until 2016, now we can complement that with an ITU World Cup event two weeks prior each year in New Plymouth.
“Having both a World Tri Series and World Cup event in New Zealand is amazing, it will give the Elite international countries even more reason to train and compete throughout our summer to attain crucial World and Olympic points, not to mention a further opportunity for our core Age Group community to compete on the big stage.
“I must congratulate Venture Taranaki and the TSB Community Trust for their willingness to back the return of a World Cup race to New Plymouth. Equally I must commend Terry Sheldrake and Selwyn Brown who have stepped up to lead the delivery of the event. It is a great time for triathlon in New Zealand, this announcement further adds to the excitement.”
The New Plymouth event will fit nicely into the calendar being two weeks after the Wellington leg of the National Tri Series, which includes the World University Triathlon Champs in 2014 and the Barfoot & Thompson World Tri Series event in Auckland, which is also Tri NZ’s National standard distance Championships.
The ITU had no hesitation in adding New Plymouth to the World Cup calendar for 2014, with the event always well received by athletes and the ITU alike when it was previously held in New Plymouth in 2005, 2006, 2008. The location is stunning, the course a great challenge and the city a most hospitable host.
The event will attract an international field of athletes in both the elite men’s and women’s races on March 23rd, with positive benefits for Taranaki in terms of visitors to the region as competitors and supporters, and international exposure through the ITU’s global media partners.
The Facts and Figures
ITU World Cup
· Featuring elite men and women World Cup races and supporting events (TBC), points earned count towards world and Olympic rankings
· New Plymouth features as one of 5 ITU World Cup races confirmed so far for 2104, returning to the city for the first time since 2008.
· For a link to previous results for the ITU World Cup races held in New Plymouth, CLICK HERE
Supporting partners include:
· Venture Taranaki
· TSB Community Trust
· International Triathlon Union (ITU) – international governing body
· Oceania Triathlon Union (OUT) – regional governing body
· TMS Sport Promotions – event delivery partner
· Triathlon New Zealand – sanctioning national body
ITU has also confirmed the following World Cup races:
Confirmed 2014 World Cups
March 15-16: Mooloolaba, Australia
March 22-23: New Plymouth, New Zealand
May 10-11: Chengdu, China
June 14-15: Huatulco, Mexico
August 9-10: Tiszaujvaros, Hungary
While dates are pending, bids to hold a World Cup have been received from and will take place in the following cities:
Tongyeong, South Korea
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Expression of interest for World Cups was also received from Spain, Columbia and USA. The full schedule and dates will be confirmed in the coming weeks.