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World Triathlon Cup Napier 2024: Start times, preview and how to watch live

Hayden Wilde will be one of the favourites in the men's race at the World Triathlon Cup in Napier.

Staff Reporter
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New Zealand will once again host the first World Triathlon Cup of the season this weekend, as a number of the best athletes in the sport prepare to lineup in Napier on the North Island.

Usually held in New Plymouth, New Zealand’s sole World Triathlon Cup fixture will give the home fans plenty to cheer for, with a strong Kiwi contingent racing in both the men and women’s events plus the Mixed Team Relay.

In our preview below, you can find all the information you need on start times and streaming, plus a full rundown of the favourites to take the tape on Saturday in the individual races.

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Start times and how to watch live

The Elite Women will race first in Napier, with the gun set to go off at 16:15 local time on Saturday February 24. This corresponds to 03:15 UK time and 04:15 CET time. On the West Coast, the race will begin at 19:15 on Friday February 23.

For the Elite Men, racing will kick off at 18:15 local time on Saturday, which is 05:15 UK time and 06:15 CET time. On the West Coast, the race will begin at 21:15 on Friday.

All the action will be available to watch live via Triathlonlive.tv

Elite Women racing in Napier

In the women’s race on Saturday, there are no fewer than eight New Zealanders toeing the start line, with the team led by Ainsley Thorpe and Brea Roderick.

With top ranked Kiwi Nicole Van Der Kaay absent in Napier, this weekend presents a prime opportunity for Thorpe and Roderick in particular to impress selectors ahead of Paris.

Gina Sereno Gwen Jorgensen Vicky Holland World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mer podium 2023Gina Sereno Gwen Jorgensen Vicky Holland World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mer podium 2023
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

Challenging the home favourites for the podium are a pair of Brits, Olivia Mathias and Sophie Alden, plus World Cup medalists Gina Sereno and Zsanett Kuttor-Bragmayer.

For Mathias and Alden, who are racing off the back of a recent British Triathlon camp in Australia, the race will be a great opportunity to test their fitness after a long winter of training.

As well as the aforementioned contenders, two Australians, Emma Jeffcoat and Natalie van Coevorden stand out on the start list as two athletes capable of finishing on the podium.

Olivia Mathias Emma Lombardi bike WTCS Sunderland 2023 [Photo credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon]
[Photo credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon]

In a competitive field, there is no clear cut favourite, but both Alden and Mathias have an excellent opportunity to get a top finish and build some confidence heading into the season proper.

Elite Men racing in Napier

In the men’s race, Olympic bronze medalist Hayden Wilde will enter the race with a lot of pressure to take home the win, whilst making it look easy, just as he did last year in New Plymouth.

Hayden Wilde New Plymouth 2023 photo credit Cameron Mackenzie / World Triathlon
[Photo credit: Cameron Mackenzie / World Triathlon]

Possessing tremendous quality which is simply highlighted when racing at the World Cup level, the Kiwi will however face some challenges in Napier, especially if a small group can breakaway.

Strong swimmers such as fellow countryman Dylan McCullough and the likes of British athletes Ben Dijkstra and Samuel Dickinson could put Wilde under pressure, in particular if “The Falcon” has a sizeable deficit coming out of the water.

Additionally, an athlete who might swim with Wilde but still be a threat, however, is Brit Hugo Milner. The Derby man, who has enjoyed a phenomenal cross country season back home this winter, won his first World Cup last year.

The Harvard grad, quick as lightning on the run, has the potential to go head-to-head with the home favourite and come out on top over the 5km run if the pair end up coming off the bike together.

Hugo Milner 2023 World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki Win
Hugo Milner wins World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki [Photo Credit – Janos M Schmidt/World Triathlon]

Whatever race scenario ends up playing out, Wilde will back himself to deal with it accordingly, especially given the fact that he will face similar threats at a greater level when he goes for gold in Paris this summer.

Ahead of the first WTCS event in Abu Dhabi next month, the men’s race in Napier will give us a first glimpse at not only one of the biggest medal contenders in Paris (Wilde), but also the race for selection to one of the most competitive men’s Olympic teams (GB).

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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