Photos: World Triathlon

By Kent Gray/ in Napier
As much as Ainsley Thorpe world have loved to have repeated her podium effort from 12 months ago, she was trying hard not to get too far ahead of herself with a little perspective at World Triathlon Cup Napier on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Cambridge-based Aucklander was the best of the Kiwi women at Ahuriri in 8th, a place ahead of Otago Medical School student Olivia Thornbury who has continued her impressive start to the year.

Thorpe, second in New Plymouth last year, was left to rue a crowded buoy rounding as Aussie Sophie Linn kicked on to victory.

The water was very choppy out there. I had an alright start, just got caught. We all came together at the first buoy, and I was caught on the outside, just everyone came in at once,

“I was trying to catch [the lead group] as I was coming in, I was literally at the front of that gap [the second group], one of the first to miss that breakway which was very frustrating.”

Thorpe tired to bride the gap to Linn and co on the bike but the chasing group couldn’t organize itself.

“We were workling on the bike the pack just got too big and …we weren’t actually too far off but then the gap just started to extend as out group got too big and people stopped working. “But I had a good transition and just tried to make up as many places on the run that I could.”

Thorpe was justifiably pleased with her 16:32 5km split, the fourth fastest of the day, and kept reminding herself that there are bigger races to come in the countdown to what she hopes will be a second Olympic Games appearance in Paris.

“I obviously don’t want to be at my peak now so it wasn’t a bad race but there’s still a lot of work ons,” Thorpe told

“I think if I’d been in that break, I’d of been up there for the podium so kind of frustrating but you know, I don’t want to be at my peak now so it would have been awesome to podium at home like last year but it is what it is and I’ve got Abu Dhabi in two weeks time.”

And a mixed relay on Sunday where she’ll combine with Dylan McCullough, Brea Roderick and Tayler Reid.

“I’ll be going second for New Zealand so come down, that’s going to be a good race to watch. There’s not too many teams out there, so it’s going to be quite different to normal.

“I think with the 2km run there’s going to be some big gaps.”

World Triathlon Cup Napier

1. Sophie Linn (AUS)
2. Sophie Alden (GBR)
3. Olivia Mathias (GBR)

New Zealand results
8. Ainsley Thorpe
9. Olivia Thornbury
17. Brea Roderick
23. Eva Goodisson
26. Sarah McClure
29. Hannah Howell
36. Olivia Cummings
Lapped: Amara Rae

Full results at World Triathlon HERE

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