Ahead of the World Paratriathlon Series on Saturday afternoon, some of the top Elite and U23 athletes in the Oceania region will converge in Devonport for the 2020 Devonport OTU Sprint Oceania Cup and Oceania Championships.
With Trans-Tasman rivalry on full show, the Oceania Cup and Championships will see a full field of Australian, New Zealand and international athletes open their 2020 racing seasons on a fast and challenging course through the streets of Devonport.
Melbourne’s Tamsyn Moana-Veale will take to the starting line wearing the number one after a year of building and growth on the World Cup and World Triathlon Series circuit that saw the New Zealand-born athlete take 4th at the 2019 Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup and 9th at the 2019 Nur-Sultan ITU Triathlon World Cup.
Speaking to Triathlon Australia, Moana-Veale said that she’s hoping she can capitalise on the lessons learnt and momemtum gained in her 2019 season ahead of a packed year for the 27-year-old.
“It’s always hard to know what to expect for the first race of the season,” Moana-Veale said.
“It’ll be a great opportunity to go out and see where I’m at early season on a tough course with a strong field.”
“We have prepared similar to previous years as it’s worked well in the past and things seems to be tracking along well so hoping for a good result this weekend.”
Moana-Veale will have her work cut out for her, with a quality Elite and U23 field joining her in this weekend’s event.
After a strong domestic season and an impressive 11th place finish at the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final U23 race in Lausanne, 2019 Elite and U23 Oceania Sprint Champion Joanne Miller returns to Devonport with hopes of defending her title and opening her 2020 racing account with a bang.
Joining Miller and Moana-Veale on the starting line will be Armidale’s Gillian Backhouse and West Australia’s Kira Hedgeland, with both athletes arriving in Devonport off the back of a solid training camp in Lennox Head. While 2018 Commonwealth Games representative Charlotte McShane will look to get her season underway in Devonport following a challenging 2019 season.
They’ll be joined by a slew of Australian U23 young guns including Milan Agnew, Matilda Offord, Victoria Gillies, Emma Hogan, Cassia Boglio and Jessica Ashworth.
Three-time Olympian Andrea Hewitt (NZL) will cross the Trans-Tasman to contest the Oceania title, fresh off the back of her recent return to world-class form at the 2019 Santo Domingo ITU Triathlon World Cup last November. She’ll be joined by fellow countrywoman Hannah Knighton in her first ITU U23 race after she claimed fourth as a Junior at the 2019 World Triathlon Grand Final.
Headlined by 2018 Commonwealth Games team member Luke Willian, 2019 Oceania Sprint silver medallist Matt Roberts and 2019 Moreton Bay Standard Champion Brandon Copeland, a strong contingent of Australian Elite and U23 male athletes will also make their way to Devonport to contest the Oceania Sprint titles.
Lorcan Redmond will step up to his first U23 race in Devonport after securing a silver medal as a Junior at the 2019 World Triathlon Grand Final, with 2018 U23 Oceania Standard Champion Callum McClusky also bolstering the experience of the group headed to Devonport, alongside Adam Rudgley, Marcel Walkington, Caleb Noble and Travis Coleman.
Defending Elite and U23 Oceania Sprint Champion Tayler Reid (NZL) will bring a shade of Trans-Tasman rivalry to the affair, as the New Zealander heads into the Elite Men’s race as the number one seed. Following his breakout 2019 season that saw him claim his maiden World Cup win at the 2019 Antwerp World Cup, Reid will no doubt be looking to get his season off to a flying start in Devonport.
In amongst a jam-packed weekend of racing, the Devonport Triathlon will also play host to the second round of the Australian Youth & Junior Triathlon Series.
Featuring both the Youth and Junior National Championship races, as well as the Junior Mixed Relay National Championship, the pressure will be on for some of Australia’s best young triathlon talent to step up to the plate and put their skills on show.
The 2020 OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup and Oceania Championships and round two of the Australian Youth & Junior Triathlon Series will take place on Saturday February 27 in Devonport.
2020 OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup and Oceania Championships