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Bouchez tops all the men and women at the Canada Man/ Women Sprint

Race report and photos from today's sprint event in Lac Megantic

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Severine Bouchez, who was born in Belgium and represents that country internationally even though she lives near Joliet, Que., proved to be the fastest on the day in Lac Megantic, Que. as she powered her way to the win at the Canada Man/ Woman Sprint race. The race is part of the Canada Man/Woman Xtri event that takes place tomorrow, offering an “extreme” version of a sprint triathlon to go along with tomorrow’s challenging full-distance event.

The cold water temperature and rainy conditions forced organizers to cancel the swim for today’s race, which meant a 2 km run was substituted for the 750 m swim. After the initial run the athletes took on a challenging 20 km course, then rounded out the day with an equally challenging 6 km run.

Bouchez was the first onto the bike course and she stayed ahead – even managing to enjoy the views along the way. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Even though the athletes left in groups of four 10 seconds apart, it was clear right from the start that Bouchez, who competed at the World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic earlier this year (another extremely hilly and challenging course), wa moving faster than anyone else in the field. She blasted through all three legs of the race for a clear win in 1:13:44. Olivier Lavellee was the fastest man in the field, finishing in 1:17:22, with Kevin Blouin taking third overall in 1:18:45. The second woman overall behind Bouchez was Edith Pepin, who finished in 1:19:18, the fifth-fastest time of the day.

“I was a little sad we couldn’t swim today, but with the temperature it was probably a good decision,” Bouchez said after the race. “I was worried I was going to be cold on the bike, in the rain, but it was good. I really loved the race – there were nice views on the bike and I really love bike courses with hills, so I was really pleased with the bike course here today.”

This was the first time Bouchez had won a race overall before. For the rest of the fall she’ll turn her focus to cyclocross racing – she has a race tomorrow. Will we see her taking on the longer Canada Man/ Woman race any time soon?

“I love to suffer – but fast, over short courses,” she laughed.

You can find results from today’s race here.

Here’s a photo gallery from today’s race – click to see larger images.