Race 7 - Napier

Sheldrake takes out Napier National Series Race
Series Leader Dominates Women's Field

In windy conditions, Gisborne athlete Stephen Sheldrake has today taken out the seventh Contact Energy New Zealand Cup men's race in the National Triathlon Series, at Westshore Reserve, Napier, completing the race with a time of 2.01.30.

His third win of the series, Sheldrake's win today puts him near the top of the series points table, currently led by Tristan Calwell [Auckland], who pulled out of today's race due to injury. Both athletes are set to compete in the final two races of the series in Whangamata and Wellington, which will determine the overall winner of the Contact Energy New Zealand Cup.

Today's race was a closely fought battle between Sheldrake and second place finisher Graham O'Grady [Hamilton].  At the end of the 1.5km swim leg the pair left the water in close succession, before Sheldrake pulled away on the 40km cycle leg, gaining a three-minute lead on O'Grady.

O'Grady chased hard on the run, crossing the finish line just over one minute behind Sheldrake with a time of 2.02.43. Hawke's Bay's Callum Millward finished third in 2.04.57.

Sheldrake's win today caps off a big week for the former professional athlete, having just been appointed as Triathlon New Zealand's Under-23 High Performance Manager.

In the women's field today, series leader Gina Ferguson [Christchurch] was no match for her competitors, clearly dominating throughout the race to finish more than five minutes ahead of her nearest rival with a time of 2.17.10.

Sue Mellsop finished second in 2.22.45, while Auckland's Anna Hamilton finished third in 2.23.48.

The next race in the Contact Energy National Series will take place in Whangamata on 17 March 2007. The series concludes in Wellington on 31 March 2007

Results for Race 7 of the Contact Energy National Series

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