Canada’s Andrew Yorke and Joanna Brown kicked the 2014 triathlon series off with a silver and bronze medal respectively at the season-opening ITU Pan American Cup sprint race in Clermont, Florida on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Yorke of Caledon, Ont. completed the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run course in a time of 56 minutes, 28 seconds. “I really wanted to make it a hard race today and see what I got out of it,” said Yorke. “I was focused on a good swim and bike and wanted to get out front on the run. I did a lot of pulling on the bike today, and went as hard as I could so I’m happy with how things played out.”
He added, “I’ve done less training to this point than in previous years because I wasn’t making it through the season and being healthy when it mattered the most.”
Mexico’s Irving Perez won the men’s race with a time of 56:22 and American, William Huffman, grabbed the bronze with a time of 56:57.
Joanna Brown of Carp, Ont. took bronze in 1:03:48 after a rough swim behind American Sarah Haskins, who won in 1:02:55 and second place Mexican Claudia Rivas in 1:03:22.
“It was a good starting point for me,” said Brown. “I can’t say that I was happy with the race, but part of being high performance is also having high standards,” she added Brown. Her teamate Amelie Kretz of Blainville, Que., was fourth in 1:03:53.
“I was nervous for the run today. My legs felt really heavy and they weren’t happy to be going right after that bike,” explained Brown, who had a penalty in the first loop. “All in all it was a great way to shake out the cobwebs and have a punchy start to the season. I’m looking forward to another opportunity to race next weekend.”
Additional Canadians who raced well were Alexis Lepage, of Gatineau, Que., who made the top-15 in the men’s race. In the women’s race, Calgary’s Alex Coates was 12th at 1:05:25, while Victoria’s Alison Hooper was top-15 at 1:05:56.