After crashing out at WTCS Leeds two weeks ago, Great Britain’s Alex Yee bounced back in style today as he outsprinted New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde, the man who won in Leeds, and France’s Leo Bergere in the final few hundred metres of the final of the three races that made up the Eliminator final here in Montreal. Yee’s exuberant finish was a clear sign that the win meant a lot after the disappointment from Leeds.
It was a day of mixed emotions for Canadian fans, too, as Tyler Mislawchuk ended up out of the final after the first round. The two-time Olympian was in a bike accident yesterday and hurt his knee and he wasn’t able to push through to make the top-20 in the first round. After missing the mixed relay at the Olympics last year, Mislawchuk is hoping to be able to represent Canada in tomorrow’s mixed relay event.
As disappointing as it was for Mislawchuk, Quebec’s Charles Paquet had a fantastic race, finishing 18th in the first round before missing the final 10 in the second round. His gutsy performance thrilled the Montreal crowd here at the Old Port.
Yee seemed to be struggling just to make it through each of the rounds, but came through when it counted in the final race. After France’s Vincent Luis led his countrymen Leo Bergere and Pierre le Corre out of the water for the 300 m swim in the final round, it looked as though France might be in a position to sweep the podium again, but the group quickly reformed on the bike.
Then Wilde seemed to be out of contention as the group rounded transition to start the second of three laps on the bike as he struggled with a mechanical issue and fell well back of the pack. Somehow, though, the Olympic bronze medalist managed to ride his way back to the pack by the end of the bike, then surged ahead to start the 2 km run.
The three medalists managed to open some space on the rest of the field, setting up a long sprint down the final straightaway that saw Yee take the win ahead of Wilde and Bergere.
You can find full results from the race here.