Sophie Corbidge is making the step up to the elite ranks for the Oceania Sprint Triathlon Championships at Kinloch this weekend.
Having won the under-23 title at the same event last year, Corbidge is moving into the open elite race to chase vital ITU ranking points.
The Cambridge-based triathlete will face a strong international field, many training in New Zealand in preparation for the ITU World Cup in New Plymouth in March, and the opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland in April.
Corbidge said she is loving the Tri NZ High Performance environment, which is based in Cambridge but has been training at altitude in Wanaka this month.
"This is the biggest training volume I have ever done in a three week camp. For me this is normally part time study, and part time training but I am loving the full time training set-up.
"I have no doubt it is setting me up for a good season."
She said she is feeling confident and fit heading into the Kinloch event, but admits she is heading into the unknown with the new level of competition.
Kinloch is one of Corbidge's favourite courses, but she said her goal is to peak in April.
With Simone Ackerman (hip) and Kate McIlroy (heel surgery) both recovering from injury, and Andrea Hewitt not racing, Corbidge will go in as the leading Kiwi at Kinloch.
Tri NZ talent development coach Tim Brazier will have a close eye on a large number of young prospects racing on Saturday, across the open elite, U23 and U19 races.
"The high performance squads are in a transition from base building into a race phase. The first two races are when they rehearse their plans and processes," he said.
"It is important they perform well but it is more about executing plans and working on areas they have been developing over the past three months. This is the main focus this weekend."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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