Top 20 Finish for White in New Plymouth

New Plymouth WC 2019_Start

The trio of Russell White, Con Doherty and Ben Shaw raced at New Plymouth World Cup in New Zealand on Sunday. This race was the third in as many weeks for the three athletes. Mixed performances for all athletes meant that they wanted to move forward and put together a solid race before a short break and upcoming races in April.

New Plymouth World Cup

The race started with a sea swim. Conditions were slightly choppy on the water and favoured the strong swimmers in the race as the non-wetsuit rule was enforced. 

Exiting the water, the athletes had a long run up the beach towards T1. First out of the water was the familiar face of Richard Varga, undoubtably the strongest and fastest swimmer in the whole ITU field. Close on the feet of Varga was Russell White who proved his swim fitness and entered T1 in the lead with Varga. Similarly, Ben Shaw was only a handful of seconds behind the two leaders and made his way to T1 determined to make the front pack and work hard on the bike to stay away from the chasers. Con Doherty had a difficult swim and found the conditions less favourable to him. He made his way to T1 at the back of the field with a lot of work to do to make up the deficit on the athletes ahead of him. 

On the bike a group including Russell and Ben gained a seven second gap on the chasers but Javier Gomez showed fantastic form and dragged a large group closer to the leaders on a hilly and technical bike course. With only 5km to go, the two groups were together. Con was chasing hard with a group of athletes to make up the gap gained on the swim. White and Shaw were comfortable in the lead group and showed great bike fitness on a challenging course.

Russell White entered T2 at the front of the pack and began his run in 3rdposition. Ben had a slow T2 and left for his run slightly off the leaders. Con stayed consistent on the bike, but it was always going to be difficult to make any inroads on the leaders who had formed a large pack and were working well together to stay ahead. 

The run was uneventful with each athlete looking to maintain position and hang on as long as they possibly could. Russell White finished up in 19thplace, Ben Shaw 35thand Con Doherty in 46th. Full results on triathlon.org. 

Solid performance for Russell White

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A solid performance this weekend, including a strong swim has given Russell a confidence boost ahead of his next set of races;

"Very happy with my performance this weekend in New Plymouth especially since the 1st two races of the year didn’t go to plan despite a successful winters training. 

New Plymouth was arguably the strongest World Cup of the year so far with a stacked field and the return of Javier Gomez. 

To exit the water 2nd on the feet of Richard Varga was a huge boost to my swimming confidence which I’ll carry into the next races. The bike was a 4 lap hilly and technical course which made for honest racing, compared to some boring World Cup bike courses. This allowed more aggressive racing where the bike packs stayed away from the 1st lap. 

Onto the run there were plenty of tired legs after the challenge bike, although obviously wanting more, still happy with 19th which still gives me good Olympic ranking points and keeps hold of a qualifying spot as Year 1 comes to an end next month."