Canada’s Russell Pennock cranked out one of the top run splits of the day en route to chalking up a stellar sixth-place finish in the Under-23 men’s race at the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final on Thursday, while Charles Paquet managed to crack the top 10 in the junior boys race, which was turned into a duathlon thanks to inclement weather conditions.
From a Triathlon Canada Press Release
Racing in his first full season as a senior athlete, the recently turned 20 year old bombed his way through the field on the 10-kilometre run course, while sporting his trademark headband, to post the top Canadian time at 1:42:04.
“That hurt a lot. I pushed so hard in that final kilometre to hold my position in sixth. I gave it all I could. I just wanted to make Canada proud,” said Pennock. “It is my first World Championships at the senior level and second World Championships ever so I couldn’t be happier.”
Pennock came out of the water of Lake Michigan along Chicago’s shoreline well back of the leaders after the 1.5-kilometre swim. Working in a chase group throughout most of the 40-kilometre bike course, Pennock was at the back of a large pack of more than 40 athletes that formed on the final lap of the eight-loop bike course around Chicago’s famed downtown core that featured long straightaways and hairpin turns.
Trailing the pack out of second transition, Pennock picked off many of the world’s best athletes under 23 years of age on the four-lap run course down Columbus Drive. He finally led a small chase group that formed into the bell lap where he hung for sixth.
The performance builds on a standout junior career for the young Canuck. Pennock not only won all four domestic junior races last year including the national championship title, but also finished fifth at the World Junior Championships – tying Canadian triathlon trailblazer Paul Tichelaar’s junior World Championship performance in 2001.
“I’m pretty happy with how things went this year. I don’t think I had a finish worse than 10th. I didn’t think it would go this well,” said Pennock. “It has been good for me to get some experience racing with Europe. Training with the National Team has been awesome for me.”
Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle, who was second at last year’s World Juniors, broke away from a lead group of five in the final lap of the run to win the race with a time of 1:40:51. Two Spaniards grabbed the final two spots on the podium. David Castro Fajardo was second at 1:41:05, while Nan Oliveras clocked a third-place time of 1:41:15.
Despite not being on the podium, the Canadian men showed tremendous potential. Alexis Lepage, of Quebec City, was at the top of the pack for the swim and bike portion of the race. First out of second transition, Lepage dropped off the back of a lead group of five after the first lap on the run. Alone in sixth spot until the final lap, Lepage formed into a chase group where he held on for eighth place with a time of 1:42:18.
Taylor Forbes, of Dundas, Ont., was 17th at 1:43:05, while his brother Austen was 42nd (1:46:52). Xavier Grenier-Talavera, of Vaudreuil, Que., pulled out of the race midway through the run course.
Charles Paquet leads Juniors Canucks in Duathlon Race
A 95-minute thunder and lightning delay forced race officials to make the junior boys race a duathlon.
Racing for the World Championship crown and to complete the race before darkness, Charles Paquet led the Canadians with a strong ninth-place showing amongst the top juniors on the planet.
Paquet, of Port Cartier, Que., was in a lead pack of 20 athletes for the first five-kilometre run and 20-kilometre bike course as rain dumped down on the World Championship course in the Windy City. With darkness setting in, Paquet headed out onto the final 2.5-kilometre run in eighth spot. When all was said and done, Paquet finished ninth with a time of 52:24.
Brazil’s Manoel Messias won the sprint finish in the dark, clocking a time of 51:50. Germany’s Peer Sonksen settled for second at 51:51, while Leo Bergere, of France, rounded out the junior boys podium in third with a time of 52:01.
Michael Milic, of Delta, B.C., crashed on the slick bike course, but managed to finish in 40th spot with a time of 55:50. Oliver Blecher, of Port Hope, Ont., also crashed and did not finish the race.
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Top-Five and Canadian Under-23 Men’s Results:
- Jacob Birtwhistle, AUS, 1:40:51; 2. David Castro Fajardo, ESP, 1:41:05; 3. Nan Oliveras, ESP, 1:41:15; 4. Kevin Mcdowell, USA, 1:41:38; 5. Gordon Benson, GBR, 1:41:56
- Russell Pennock, Calgary, 1:42:04; 8. Alexis Lepage, Quebec City, 1:42:18; 17. Taylor Forbes, Dundas, Ont., 1:43:05; 42. Austen Forbes, Dundas, Ont., 1:46:52; DNF. Xavier Grenier-Talavera, Vaudreuil, Que.
Top-Five and Canadian Junior Men’s Results:
- Manoel Messias, BRA, 51:50; 2. Peer Sonksen, GER, 51:51; 3. Leo Bergere, FRA, 52:01; 4. Roberto Mantecon, ESP, 52:08; 5. Matthew Hauser, AUS, 52:10
9. Charles Paquet, Port Cartier, Que., 52:24; 40. Michael Milic, Delta, B.C., 55:50; DNF. Oliver Blecher, Port Hope, Ont.