Race preview: Canadians chase Olympic points in Huatulco
Several Canadian Olympic team contenders have headed down to Huatulco, Mexico for arguably the toughest world cup race in the series taking place tomorrow. The hilly course is made tougher in the hot and humid conditions so the battle to the finish line for Olympic points won’t be easy.
The Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup will be the first time we see Paula Findlay and Kirsten Sweetland race this year, after both women suffered injuries and illness last year that took them out for several major events. Findlay and Sweetland each have a legitimate shot at making the Olympic team through one of the three spots the Canadian women have earned. For Findlay, it would be a second trip to the Games and a shot at redemption after a disappointing performance in London. This would be Sweetland’s first trip to the Olympics.
All I can say after riding the World Cup course here in Hualtulco is I'm glad I mountain bike!! 😁 #makesureeverythingistight #rodeo
— Kirsten Sweetland (@KirstenSweets) May 6, 2016
The two Canadian women line up with countrywomen Joanna Brown, who raced on the Pan Am team with Findlay in Toronto last summer. Brown has a good history with this race, placing fifth in 2013.
The Canadian men currently have just two Olympic spots so for Kyle Jones and Andrew Yorke, who both have a shot at making the team, this race is an important opportunity to prove their fitness and chase points.
Jones has had some great results over the last six months, earning a silver and bronze and late season world cup races last year and taking ninth at WTS Abu Dhabi in March.
Cinco de Mayo seems fitting for some travel down to Mexico. Off to Huatulco for the World Cup race this weekend!
— Kyle Jones (@JonesKyle) May 5, 2016
Yorke posted a DNF at WTS Gold Coast last month but looks ready to race in Mexico tomorrow.
Xavier Grenier-Talavera joins Jones and Yorke on the start line. The 21-year-old has had some impressive early season results at ITU development races and is making a name for himself on the Canadian short course scene.