Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland finished fifth at the World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand on Sunday in a time 58:02 over the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike, and five-kilometre run sprint distance race.
“This was another little step up from last week,” said Sweetland, who was seventh at the World Cup opener in Mooloolaba. “There are still some more gears needed though. This five-kilometre (run) business is quick!”
Sweetland and teammate Paula Findlay worked well together over the swim and bike. The field narrowed on the run and Findlay got herself firmly on the road back to where she was prior to injury. This was just her second World Cup race in three years. She was 17th last week and ninth on Sunday with a time of 58:44.
“I’m definitely not satisfied with ninth, but it was a good progression even from a one week ago,” said Findlay. “I had a solid swim and bike, showing that I can still be in the mix with the top girls. I’m in a good position for this time of year and I still have lots of improvement on to make in my run. I’m excited to see what I’m capable of with a consistent and healthy season. I’m so happy to be back racing.”
Katie Hursey, of the United States, won the women’s race with a time of 57:27. Andrea Hewitt, of New Zealand was second and Jodie Stimpson, of Great Britain, was third 57:39.
Oakville, Ont.,Kyle Jones finished in eighth with a time of 53:13. The 29-year-old said “This was a nice progression from last weekend. I feel all is looking well heading into the first race in Auckland in two weeks time,” said Jones. “I’m very happy with the race today.”
Spain’s Mario Mola won for the second straight week ahead of Javier Gomez in a time of 52:30. Gomez was only three seconds behind while Portugal’s Joao Silva finished third in 52:56.
The World Triathlon Series begins in Auckland, New Zealand, April 5-6, 2014.
For complete coverage of the New Plymouth World Cup, please visit www.triathlon.org.