Canada’s fastest draft-legal triathletes posted strong results over the weekend in the WTS season opener in Abu Dhabi, the ITU Clermont CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup and the ITU Wollongong OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup.
Top 10 finishes for Jones and Mislawchuk in Abu Dhabi
Kyle Jones and Tyler Mislawchuk started off their WTS seasons with top 10 finishes in Abu Dhabi, finished 9th and 10th respectively. The Olympic hopefuls finished within three seconds of each other, each earning a top career result.
Jones, coming off late-season success with two podium finishes in 2015, appears to be in great shape after a string of injuries and bad luck earlier last year. “I’m very happy with my result today,” he told TMC. “My training over the winter progressed well and I was excited to start the season. Leading into this race, I was focused on a top eight result. I came up just short of that but I’m very pleased with my current form and look forward to my upcoming races.”
2016 race season started off nicely in Abu Dhabi. Off to Australia now to continue the journey! pic.twitter.com/jFmLNq154S
— Kyle Jones (@JonesKyle) March 6, 2016
Jones ran his way to ninth after entering T2 with a large pack of top cyclists. “We had a very large group on the bike so there were a lot of guys entering transition together. I started the run a bit further back in the bunch than I would have liked but was able to work my way through the field and finish strong.”
Mislawchuk matched his best career finish, though came into the race without high expectations. “I went into Abu Dhabi knowing I was coming in with some good form but not totally sure where I was at,” he told TMC. “The race was full of excitement for me with a four man bridge to the lead pack on the bike before eventually getting caught. The race turned out to be a real 10 km foot race in the end and a hot one at that. I ran well through seven kilometres before fading to finish tenth. Overall, it was a great experience showing me that with some more hard work I should be able to execute some good races this season.”
Russell Pennock, the only other Canadian male racing Abu Dhabi, finished 29th.
Sarah-Anne Brault placed 27th in a tough women’s field, led by Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson who finished in 1:56:10. Amelie Kretz dropped out after T2.
Full results here.
Grenier-Talavera podiums in Clermont
Quebec’s Xavier Grenier-Talavera earned a career-best finish on an ITU podium, placing 2nd at the CAMTRI Sprint cup in Clermont, Florida.
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Great to start the season with my first ITU podium this year! Next up, Sarasota ? #2nd #ecstatic #SorryBenForTheJuice Super manière de commencer la saison avec mon premier podium ITU cette année! Semaine prochaine, Sarasota ? Thanks for my support team: Saputo, Triathlon Quebec, Triathlon Canada, Nineteen wetsuits #Repost @karmamtl with @repostapp ・・・
The 20-year-old was excited to start his season off on such a high note. “It obviously feels awesome to start the season this way,” he said. “I just came back from altitude training, and I felt my shape was pretty good. Today was confirmation of that.” Grenier-Talavera battled American Ben Kanute to the finish line, finishing just 10 seconds behind him.
Several other Canadian men finished close behind Grenier-Talavera to round out a Canuck-packed top 10. Charles Paquet, of Port Cartier, Que., finished fourth, Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., had a fifth-place finish in his first tune-up race before returning to the World Triathlon Series. Yorke posted a time of 53:30. Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., was seventh at 53:49. John Rasmussen, of Ancaster, Ont., was ninth at 54:00 to round out the Canadians in the top-10.
The Canadian women racing in Clermont also showed some strong results. Twenty-three-year-old Joanna Brown narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth in 1:00:26.
“There is definitely a lot of rust to shake out, but also a lot of positives to take from today,” said Brown, who represented Canada at the Pan Am Games last year. “I had a good swim, and bridged up to the chase pack. I pushed hard with a number of Canadians on the bike and caught the leaders on the last lap.
Full results here.
Wollongong Wizard Michael Lori podiums in Australia
Two Canadians training with the Wollongong Wizards stayed put at the Australian home base over the weekend to race in the Wollongong OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup.
Michael Lori earned a podium finish, placing third behind Germany’s Franz Loeschke and Australia’s Matthew Hauser. Alexis LePage finished 7th.