Matt Sharpe lines up for the ITU world cup season opener this weekend in Cape Town, South Africa. The 25-year-old has been splitting his training time between his hometown in Victoria, B.C. and the warmer southern states this winter and heads into his first race of the year this weekend looking to add a second world cup podium to his resume. We caught up with him for a pre-race interview.
What’s the triathlon atmosphere like in Cape Town and how do you feel racing so far from home?
Cape Town is so far away from home, but I’m actually really comfortable being here since I raced back in 2015. It’s summer here so the atmosphere is lovely; everyone is out on the patios and the vibe is just super chill. Lots of people have asked me if I’m racing so there is certainly a buzz here on the ground.
What are your goals heading into the race?
The whole reason for me doing this race is to test myself against some top athletes and figure out what I need to work on leading into the more important events. Racing is the best kind of feedback!
You’re on the WTS Abu Dhabi start list in a few weeks. How are you planning to attack this season and what are some specific goals you hope to achieve on the WTS circuit?
Actually I won’t be racing in Abu Dhabi. The plan is to head to Sarasota, Florida and compete in the sprint distance North American championships along with the relay event. With the Commonwealth Games next year featuring both the sprint distance and mixed relay it is crucial to show competence in both events
What are the main races you hope to have strong results at this year?
My first big race of the year will be the WTS in Gold Coast, Australia. Its the first chance to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and I’d love to book my ticket early. After that I really want to perform well at every Canadian race including the two WTS races in Edmonton and Montreal, National champs in Ottawa, and the Multisport World Champs in Penticton. It’s so important to have solid performances in front of a home crowd. These are the people who support us!