Feeding off her first World Cup podium last month, Canadian rookie Sarah-Anne Brault finished in the top-20 in the second World Triathlon Series race of her career on Friday in San Diego, California.
The 22-year-old Winnipeger, who grabbed the bronze at a World Cup in Ishigaki, Japan, clocked a 19th-place time of 2:02:13.
“I am happy with today and gained more experience, but these girls are fast,” said Brault, who did not finish her first start at the season-opener in Australia. “Racing in Sydney was terrifying, but I gained lots of confidence in Japan which helped me today.”
Brault came out of the 1.5-kilometre swim in Mission Bay in the middle of the pack of 70 athletes, and settled into the second group of riders for the 40-kilometre ride along theCalifornia coastline.
“I believe I can run with nearly everyone beside me minus maybe the top three so it would have been nice to be further up out of the <second> transition,” said Brault. “I ran into some problems in transition and the group split. I think I showed what I had today.”
Helen Jenkins, of Great Britain, definitely showed the field she is the one to beat in women’s triathlon just two months remaining until the 2012 Games. Jenkins stomped the field to win the second stop of the eight-race series at the birthplace of the sport in San Diego after posting a time of 1:58:21.
Jenkins finished more than one minute ahead of the next best finisher, Australia’s Erin Densham, who clocked a silver-medal time of 1:59:26. Laura Bennett, of the United States, had the race of her life to win the bronze with a time of 2:00:11.
Vancouver’s Lauren Campbell finished 25th at 2:03:08, while Edmonton’s Chantell Widney was 42nd at 2:05:01.
Montreal’s Kathy Tremblay’s dream season wheeled into its first obstacle on the road to earning a qualifying spot for the 2012 Olympic Games when she crashed on the first lap of the bike course, forcing her to withdraw from the race.
Coming off a career-best eighth-place finish at the season opening World Triathlon Series race in Sydney, followed by her first-ever World Cup victory in Japan, the 29-year-old Tremblay got tangled up with two other riders that crashed in front of her on the first extremely tight opening corner on the bike course.
“I had a great swim and I was right there ready to catch that lead pack. I am a little bruised, but my frustration is because I couldn’t get back on my bike,” said Tremblay, who added the tube on the bike ripped off.
“I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason and you have to trust life. I know I’m in great shape. I still haven’t made it to the Olympics but the goal is still the same, and I will follow this path that I was given today.”
The World TriathlonSeries continues on Saturday in San Diego with the men’s race.
Created in 2009, the ITU World Triathlon Series is an innovative series that has the world’s best triathletes compete in eight races around the world. Starting in Sydney, athletes will also compete in the United States, Spain, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Japan before the Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand. The next stop of the series is slated for Madrid,Spain.
ITU World Triathlon San Diego – May 11, 2012
Final Results – Elite Women – 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run
1. Helen Jenkins GBR 1:58:21
2. Erin Densham AUS 1:59:26
3. Laura Bennett USA 2:00:11
4. Jessica Harrison FRA 2:00:14
5. Vicky Holland GBR 2:00:28
6. Flora Duffy BER 2:00:46
7. Anne Haug GER 2:00:50
8. Sarah Haskins USA 2:00:56
9. Emma Moffatt AUS 2:01:18
10. Ashleigh Gentle AUS 2:01:33
19. Sarah-Anne Brault Winnipeg 2:02:13
25. Lauren Campbell Vancouver 2:03:08
42. Chantell Widney Edmonton 2:05:01
DNF Kathy Tremblay Montreal