MOOLOOLABA, Australia (March 13, 2013) –
Variety they say is the spice of life and for Australia’s two-time Olympian and two-time ITU World champion Emma Moffatt 2013 already has that different feel about it as she prepares for Sunday’s ITU Mooloolaba World Cup.It will be the next race in a world tour with a difference this year as she starts out on a program that will include a mixture of Olympic and long distance events.
For the first time in her stellar career Moffatt kick-started her race campaign with a long course race in Geelong last month where she finished an impressive second behind Melissa Hauschildt.
Now it’s taper time to try and get the Mooloolaba monkey off her back before preparing for two ITU World Championship Series races in San Diego and Yokohama and then a string of 51.50 races in the lead up to the ITU World Championship Grand Final in London.
Moffatt has finished second twice in Mooloolaba – in 2009 to Kirsten Sweetland from Canada and in 2011 to Nicky Samuels from New Zealand and last year Moffatt was ninth in the race won by her fellow two-time Olympian and London Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham.
And although she knows how painful Mooloolaba and the hills around Alexandra Headlands can be she is focusing on a different season of racing and “exciting” herself throughout the year.
“Mooloolaba is always a tough race and I’m going to use the long course at Geelong and this event as the platform for the year; to prepare me for a few new challenges and new races throughout 2013,” said Moffatt.
“There are so many great opportunities in triathlon these days and I’m looking to these different races to excite me and not just do the same races I’ve done for the last four years and losing that sense of déjà vu.
“I’ll be racing at home in a 51.50 at Cairns and events in the USA and Europe and then London for the ITU Grand Final.”
Moffatt, like so many athletes in South East Queensland has had to brave one of the wettest summer’s on record – spending countless hours indoors on the wind trainer, with eyes on Cyclone Sandra bearing down on the Queensland Coast.
The Mooloolaba surf swim always suits Moffatt who comes from a surf lifesaving background from her early days in Woolgoolga on the NSW North Coast.
And waiting for her on the start line will be fellow London Olympian Emma Jackson, who has eased her way into the season after her indifferent opener in Geelong but she is certain to be better for that race; a host of internationals including the last two ITU Grand Final winners Andrea Hewitt (New Zealand) and Anne Haug (Germany) and young Australians including Charlotte McShane, Natalie Van Coevorden and Sarah Deuble.
The internationals will provide some tough opposition for the small but quality field with the likes of Hewitt, Haug, Jodie Stimpson (GBR) and Aileen Reid (Ireland) and former ITU Junior World Champion from New Zealand Mikayla Nielsen (last week’s Under 19 winner in Wellington), who is stepping up for a crack with the Elite.
Haug finished second and Hewitt third to Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden in last year’s ITU World Championship Series and are sure to be on the money with Moffatt.
Stimpson recently won the 2013 Devonport Sprint Triathlon Oceania Championships after an impressive surf swim in the rare easterly swell that blew up for this year’s event.
She will certainly be better for the experience as she plots her way towards a place on the 2016 British team for Rio de Janeiro.
McShane and Van Coevorden have both had impressive starts to their seasons with McShane’s close up fourth, the best by an Australian behind Stimpson, Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and Reid to win the Oceania Sprint title in Devonport from Gillian Backhouse and Grace Musgrove who will race the Continental Cup this weekend.
Van Coevorden was fourth to Australia’s experienced former ITU World Ranked No 1 Felicity Abram, experienced NZ Olympian Kate McIlroy and training partner Musgrove in Wellington – staging a neck-and-neck battle in the final stages to just edge out New Zealander Simone Ackerman.
Deuble, based in Brisbane under coach Dan Atkins, is another one of the young talent coming through Australia’s ranks, who was a silver medallist in the Zatopek Under 20, 3000 m in 2011.
She won the Oceania Triathlon Cup at this event last year and is stepping up to the ITU World Cup which will be great experience towards achieving her ultimate goal of making an Olympic team.
TimetableElite Men: Saturday, 16 March at 3pm.
Elite Women: Sunday, 17 March 12:45pm.
Format:Swim: 1 lap ocean swim (1.5km)
Cycle: 7 laps. Mooloolaba Esplanade (40km)
Run: 4 laps. Mooloolaba Esplanade (10km)
For further event information visit www.mooloolabatri.com.au