Canadian triathletes captured five of the six podium spots up for grabs, including double Gold, at a Continental Cup race in Magog, Que. on Saturday.
Joanna Brown, of Carp, Ont., captured the women’s crown, while Andrew Russell, of Revelstoke, B.C., also had a breakthrough performance to claim his first Continental Cup title in the men’s field.
The 19-year-old Brown, who won silver medals at Continental Cup stops in Dallas and Mazatlan earlier this year, executed perfect tactics through the 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10-kilometre run course en route to clocking a combined time of 2:02:51.
“I was a bit apprehensive after the Edmonton World Cup because I didn’t have a great race there. I was really excited for the Magog event, and overall it went really well. I am very happy to get this first Continental Cup win,” said Brown, who also claimed the Under-23 National Championship title which was being held in conjunction with the Continental Cup race. “It certainly wasn’t effortless, but everything was really smooth today. I was about 25 seconds behind the leaders out of the water so I had to latch on to the top pack on the bike and settle into that group. We worked well together and just fed off a surge for a really hard finish. It is amazing to win.”
The Canadians swept the women’s podium with two Calgarians finishing second and third. Ellen Pennock locked up the silver medal with a time of 2:03:48, while Alex Coates claimed the bronze at 2:05:28.
“We do have a strong group of women,” said Brown. “We came through junior together and everyone is raising the bar for each other. In four years I think it can be amazing, and we can be a huge factor on the ITU circuit together for Canada.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Russell enjoyed one of the best days of his career, posting a golden time of 1:49:42 in the men’s race.
“Coach Jon Brown gave me a plan for this race, which I stuck too and it played out just as we hoped,” said Russell. “I had a strong swim and we had a solid group that worked very well on the bike. The run was quick and I didn’t have great legs, but after five kilometres they came back. I had to go for it with just over one kilometre to go. I ran like I stole something. My first ITU win feels really nice.”
The 30-year-old Russell has been a longtime training partner to Simon Whitfield and will work alongside the two-time Olympic medallist, and Edmonton’s Paula Findlay, in their final preparations for London 2012.
“I couldn’t have done this without my coach, Simon, my girlfriend Noa and my family,” said Russell. “I look forward to supporting Simon and Paula in their final Olympic preparations.”
Russell was joined on the podium by fellow Canuck, Matt Sharpe, who clocked-in at 1:49.58 to win the silver medal. The second-place finish also solidified Sharpe the Canadian Under-23
Championship title. Lawrence Fanous, of Jordan, rounded out the men’s podium in third at 1:50:40.
Earlier in the day Canada’s top junior boys and girls hit the start line for the second stop in the four-series National Junior Series. Quebec athletes defended their turf, winning five of six podium spots in the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run course.
Amelie Kretz, of Blainville, Que., won the women’s race with a time of 1:02:09.5, while Saskatoon’s Gabrielle Edwards was second at 1:02:50.9, and Quebec’s Camille DeLamarre grabbed the bronze (1:04:07.4).
Quebec athletes swept the men’s podium. Francis Lefebvre, of Laval, ran to the gold with a time of 55:16.2. Alexis Lepage locked up the silver with a time of 55:23.0, and Xavier Grenier-Talavera, of Vaudreuil-Dorion, rounded out the men’s podium in third at 55:26.8.