Clark ElliceClark Ellice
(Photo: Delly Carr /; click to enlarge)

New Zealand triathlete Clark Ellice is aiming high at the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Cup on Sunday, hoping that a near perfect build up augurs well for a great performance around the Auckland water front and CBD.

After suffering from an illness at the World Champs Series Grand Final in Beijing, New Plymouth's Ellice has enjoyed a solid build up at home, with a quick visit across the Tasman to tune up his racing legs.

"I had a great confidence booster recently with a 7th place finish in the Noosa elite triathlon, with the fastest run of the day. As biking wasn't really a major focus for me in the lead up, the ride hurt me a bit as those non-drafting boys can push some serious watts, which left me with a pretty heavy deficit going into the run.

"I have put some big cycling weeks in since with local pro Michael Torckler (Pure Black Racing), a true champ whom has come back from knee reconstruction and rehab in the off season. He is in great form, dominating the elite men's field in the K2 event over Coromandel Peninsula, riding the last 60k solo and the best is yet to come for this little powerhouse. That work with Michael since Noosa has me on top of my climbing and tight cornering, something that could be crucial on the Auckland course.

"My swimming has also ramped up considerably with the help of team 'Aquablades' under the watchful eye of Sue Southgate and Donna, with a focus on upping my kick ethic and strength."

Ellice hopes to race well to set up a strong 2012 campaign, but also to put behind him a disappointing 2011.

"I guess being home and having some amazing people around me to get me strong and healthy again has really transferred into some quality miles and I guess an urgency to redeem myself after a very under par 2011 ITU season. My year has been plagued with bad luck, lung viruses and far too much travel and interruptions in between races, due largely to French Grand Prix team commitments and as a result of all of this perhaps a lack of belief too.

"My only wish is that the form I am currently in had surfaced back before London and Beijing, which is probably a common occurrence for many. You can plan and work strategically as much as you want towards a pinnacle event but sometimes the body simply has other ideas.

"That said, I am hoping to tune into that side of my body in the next six months and may that start this weekend with a head turning performance, time to get some 'momentum of excellence' rolling again towards Olympic selection next year."

Ellice will line up alongside a host of other New Zealanders and an international field featuring world number 7 Laurent Vidal (FRA), former World Cup winner and three time Olympian Ivan Rana (ESP) and a host of other contenders.

For the start lists in the elite men and women's Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Cup events, click here.

For all other information about the day, including race schedule, public transport, spectator maps and course maps, go to