“I’m really happy, especially with everything, the home crowd and on the next World Championship course,” said Kretz, who also secured her first Canadian Naitonal Championship title with the win. “It’s really amazing and I’m really happy with my performance today.”
Strong cyclist Flora Duffy (BER), who is no stranger to tough bike courses having won at the 2012 Huatulco World Cup, pushed the pace on the first long loop of the bike course, creating a small breakaway of 10 women. The lead group enjoyed nearly a minute lead coming off the first lap, as they headed for the two smaller 4.5km loops.
With a determined Duffy at the helm and out of her saddle riding through transition, the lead group of 10 gained another 15 seconds over the pack of chasers with one lap to go. Included in that ten were Rivas, Densham, Sweetland, Kretz, Pennock and Joanna Brown (CAN). By the time they hit the run, the chase group was hard pressed to make up a 1:20 deficit on the 5km sprint course.
Sweetland, Kretz and Pennock did major work on the first run lap, dropping a talented field for a 14-second advantage. America’s Kaitlin Donner and Rivas attempted to keep pace behind them, while a struggling Densham fell to the back of the pack.
Kretz managed a breakaway on the final lap, leaving teammates Pennock and Sweetland behind. The 20-year old flew down the finish chute for her first World Cup title in 1:03:18. Pennock took silver, also her first World Cup medal in 1:03:29.
After struggling with injuries for a number of years, Sweetland got back on the podium with third in 1:03:35. Behind them, Brown ran herself into fourth, giving Canada a clean sweep of the top four positions in 1:03:49.
“First of all, sharing the podium with my young teammates was like a dream come true,” said Sweetland. “It’s great to be back here, yet alone the podium. I’ve about five years of struggle with injuries. I’m just glad I didn’t give up.”
The ITU Paratriathlon International Event was a battle of north versus south with 26 of the 27 athletes hailing from Canada or the United States.
Ahead of the ninth Edmonton World Cup, elite athletes met with media on a beautiful, sunny day at Hawrelak Park to discuss this weekend’s sprint race.
This weekend, Edmonton will welcome an ITU World Cup race to its city for the ninth time, breaking from the standard race format in favor of a super speedy sprint 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run course.