He came into the race as the likely favourite. A few weeks ago Tim Don, who once held claim to the world’s fastest Ironman time (after his 7:40:23 at Ironman Brazil in 2017), pulled out of the Canada Man/ Woman Xtri event, setting up an all-Canadian list of favourites for this year’s race – defending men’s champion Sylvain Lafrance, Jerome Bresson, the winner of the second and third editions of the race, Ironman specialist Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches, and defending Ultraman world champion Jordan Bryden. When Lafrance and Bresson both had to pull out, that left Jolicoeur Desroches and Bryden as the logical men to watch.
In the end there was no duel for the win – Jolicoeur Desroches was so dominant on the day that the only question throughout the day was how much he would set a new course record by. He was going so fast through the course that officials were scrambling to keep up as he kept hitting the various check points over an hour faster than they had anticipated.
And that’s even with a 12 minute stop during the bike when Jolicoeur Desroches was stopped by a train as he was riding into Lac Megantic. Bryden would also break the old course record – Bresson’s 10:59:57 set in 2018 – but would still find himself an hour behind at the finish line set at the observatory at the top of Mont Megantic. Kingston, Ontario’s Nick Cosman put up a spirited effort, getting himself to within a few minutes of Jordan on the run, but would have to settle with third in 10:57:04 – also enjoying the near perfect weather conditions to break the old course record.
There were no pro women signed up for the women’s race. Chambly, Quebec’s Roxanne Letourneau was the first woman across the line in 15:37:57, finishing ahead of local hero Sylvie Roy, who came across the line in 16:01:12. Brazil’s Daniele Crivelaro smiled her way through the day to a third-place overall finish.