Photos: World Triathlon
By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
Brea Roderick’s dream World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) debut has just got even more surreal with the 21-year-old named to anchor New Zealand’s Mixed Relay team in Montreal on Monday.
The Cantabrian finished 34th in her individual debut at World Triathlon’s premier series in Quebec overnight and will join Tayler Reid, Ainsley Thorpe and Dylan McCullough in the relay which is live on Sky Sport and World Triathlon’s streaming service, Triathlonlive.tv, from 1:50am on Monday (NZT).
The Tri NZ selection panel have opted to rest Kiwi No.1 Nicole van der Kaay while Kyle Smith will act as reserve for the men. Van der Kaay finished 42nd in the individual race after a bike crash but the relay selection was a strategic rest and rotation decision, rather than forced by any injury concerns. Further substitutions to test combinations and tactics are anticipated when the Radix Nutrition-powered Kiwi Mixed Relay team race later in the year.
Related: Radix Nutrition to fuel Tri NZ’s Paris Olympic Games Mixed Relay bid
Roderick hadn’t anticipated racing at WTCS level this season but was called into Montreal as a replacement for the unavailable Olivia Thornbury. Her 34th earlier today comes after a 9th place finish at European Cup Kitzbuhel last weekend and a silver medal performance in the U23 race at the Oceania Standard Distance Championship (and 6th overall) in Port Douglas on May 27.
“First time on the big girl blue carpet today and it did not disappoint!” Roderick wrote on social media of her WTCS bow.
“Really proud of my performance today for my first time at this level! Looking forward to building from this 🖤.”
That opportunity will present itself sooner than Roderick had anticipated and comes in the first of four crucial Mixed Relays this year. Van der Kaay and Hayden Wilde are set to return to the NZL line-up for the World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships in Hamburg on July 16 while there are further opportunities for selection rotation at WTCS-Sunderland (July 30) and the Paris Olympic Test event (August 20).
While all four relays carry important Olympic ranking points, Hamburg is the year’s key relay date given it’s duel WTCS-World Championship status. NZL can guarantee a team slot at next year’s Paris Games, and therefore starts in the earlier individual Olympic races for two males and two females, by finishing as the highest team in Germany, not counting already qualified France and Great Britain.