The eyes of the triathlon world will fall once again on Port Taranaki this Sunday, with the hosting of the Quality Hotel Plymouth International ITU Triathlon World Cup.
The 2018 edition includes a considerable tweak to the bike course, with the juniors in the WIL Sport Oceania Junior Championships races on Sunday morning and the elite athletes in the World Cup races on Sunday afternoon taking on a new and slightly tougher course.
The event is free to the public and remains based at Ngamotu Beach at Port Taranaki where the swim is held, and where the transition area, finish line and main spectator viewing area are positioned.
The one-lap 750m swim and multi-lap 5km run remain unchanged, but the four-lap bike course will have a new and tougher look to it. Riders head up Bayly Rd, turn right onto Breakwater Rd, then climb up Centennial Drive, turn left into Port View Crescent, right onto Paritutu Rd and head back down Centennial Drive and Breakwater Rd. They will be able to take in breathtaking views back to the main venue and over Port Taranaki, as well as across to Mt Taranaki.
Race director Shanelle Barrett said the primary motive behind the change was to minimise the impact on local residents and businesses, but the by-product was a challenging and undulating course for the athletes.
“There are very few residences impacted and most of the businesses along the route are closed on Sunday. It provides more views down on to the venue and across to Mt Taranaki, but the smaller impact and inconvenience on the community was our primary reason, as well as safety with a full road closure.”
Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said the port was thrilled to host the event for the eighth time and the change to the bike course would add a new and exciting element.
“It’s fantastic to again host some of the world’s best triathletes in New Plymouth and for the Taranaki public to see them up close and in action at Port Taranaki,” Mr Roper said.
“The port area is recognised as a great venue for the triathlon and the change to the bike course will enhance that further – there will be superb views from Centennial Drive and there will be plenty of good vantage points to watch the athletes.
“We’re looking forward to seeing some close competition ahead of the Commonwealth Games next month and we wish all the athletes the best for this weekend’s race,” he said.
Traffic access to Port Taranaki:
- From Friday, 23 March until late Sunday-early Monday, 25-26 March there will be no access to Port Taranaki via Ocean View Parade, west of Bayly Rd.
- Ocean View Parade east of Bayly Rd will be open, except from 7.30am-5pm on Sunday, 25 March when the full closure is in place. Access in and out of Ocean View Parade via Bayly Rd will be managed in between events. No access will be given while event competitors are on the closed roads.
- Between 7.30am-5pm on Sunday, 25 March, any traffic wanting to access Port Taranaki from Breakwater Rd will be delayed. Traffic management controllers will indicate to vehicle drivers an allocated waiting area. Access in and out of the port will be managed in between events. No access will be given while event competitors are on the closed roads.