Brock Hoel wins the Monterrey CAMTRI event in May, 2019. (Photo courtesy Brock Hoel Instagram)

West-Kelowna, B.C.’s Brock Hoel finished just 31 seconds behind the junior men’s champion (Portugal’s Ricardo Batista) today at the WTS Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland, Canada’s top result from the first day of racing in Switzerland. Hoel led the first chase group out of the water in fourth, 20 seconds behind a three-man lead group. Early in the bike he was part of a 10-man breakaway group, but by the time the athletes hit T2 there were 40 bunched together ready to start the run.

Hoel’s 16:11 run split got him across the line in a total time of 55:25 for the sprint-distance event (750 m swim, 20 km bike, 5 km run), enough for seventh. The other two Canadians in the men’s junior race, Pavlos Antoniades and Filip Mainville finished 16th and 28th.

Gupta-Baltazar among leaders in the swim

In the women’s junior race Ontario’s Kira Gupta-Baltazar was second out of the water and part of an initial lead group on the bike. In the end Gupta-Baltazar would finish 32nd in 1:04:14, with countrywoman Alexandrine Coursol taking 48th in 1:06:52. Italy’s Beatrice Mallozi and Constanz Arpinelli finished just a second apart to take the gold and silver medals in the race, finishing in 1:00:41 and 1:00:42.

In the men’s U23 race there was disappointment for Pan Am Games silver medalist, Quebec’s Charles Paquet, who went down on the bike and led the chase of the large lead pack on the challenging bike course. Paquet would eventually drop out of the race. Aiden Longcroft-Harris would finish 22nd in a time of 1:54:21. Spain’s Roberto Sanchez Manticon won the race in 1:50:20.

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