Sister and brother power houses Ellen and Russell Pennock led the Canadian team on Sunday at a European Cup Sprint Race in Burgas, Bulgaria. Ellen was fifth in a time of 1:02:44. She told Triathlon Canada, “It [was] very comforting having my brother…in Bulgaria. I can get a bit anxious before racing, but Russell’s presence definitely has a calming effect. It was fun to laugh again at the same jokes we always make with each other too. I was proud of how hard Russ fought in his race. Although he is my ‘little brother’ I definitely look up to him.”
Yuliya Yelistratova, of the Ukraine, won with a time of 1:01:39. British athlete Chole Cook was second in 1:01:49, followed by third place Anastasia Gorbunova of Russia in 1:01:57.
In his first season on the senior team, Russell Pennock finished seventh in the men’s race in 55:44. It was a tight finish with only 12 seconds between first and seventh. France’s Brice Daubord won in 55:32. Pennock’s teammate Xavier Grenier-Talavera was ninth in 55:54.
Russell Pennock told Triathlon Canada, “It was my first race here in Europe and my first race overseas, so it was a very different experience compared to racing in North America. The racing here is pretty competitive, the field was 62 guys deep and a lot of countries you don’t typically race against in Canada or the United States like Russia, Ukraine, Croatia. Quite a few swimmers all around the same swimming ability making for a very large pack of about 40 men as the lead pack. Some sketchy areas on the bike course and some random attacks from different competitors but we all came off together. Lots of people to run through and the finish was very close. . . Pretty pleased with the race but there are always things to work on.”