Canadian Matthew Sharpe, enjoyed his first world cup podium finish in Montreal last Sunday and couldn’t have been happier. After spending a few years dealing with injuries, the tall, lanky BC native has put together a great season in 2016, finishing 13th in Tiszaujvaros in July, taking third two weeks ago at the CAMTRI event in Ottawa and then flying to the finish for the silver medal in Montreal on Sunday.
“It’s pretty massive for me to do this, especially in Canada,” Sharpe said just minutes after bringing the crowd to its feet with a huge sprint to the line. “I haven’t raced much in Canada over the last few years due to injuries and other circumstances, so I am proud to put on a good show for people here.”
To get that silver medal Sharpe took some risks, including trying to run the first loop of the 5 km run with eventual winner Kristian Blummenfelt, who finished third earlier this year at the WTS race in Yokohama.
“I took a risk and tried to go out with a world-class athlete like Blummenfelt and I paid for it on the second lap,” Sharpe said. “I was able to let up a bit after that … I looked back with 200 m to go and saw the German (Maximilian Schwetz) was moving up on me and knew that I had to go and I had to destroy myself.”
The tactic worked – Sharpe managed to outsprint Eric Lagerstrom and Schwetz to earn his first world cup medal. Now he has his sights set on racing in Cozumel at the ITU Grand Final later this year.
“I said if I could go well here then I would try to go to the Grand Final, but right now I’ll just focus on the Edmonton World Series,” he said.
It will be a busy fall for the 25-year-old – he’s heading back to the University of Victoria in the fall to finish his degree in economics, too.
First things first, though – celebrating a big win in Montreal and gearing up for hopefully another big day in Edmonton.