Gregory Rouault (FRA) ran to an emotional win at the Edmonton ITU Triathlon World Cup for his first-ever gold at a World Cup race in 57:39.
“It’s amazing, my first World Cup win. For me, the condition to get onto the WTS was to win a World Cup, it’s so emotional,” Rouault said. “Everybody was cheering was Kyle and I pretended in my head my name was Kyle. I had to be smart and play my game.”
Kyle Jones repeated as the Canadian National Champion with silver seven seconds later. Behind him, representing Team ITU, Ukraine’s Ivan Ivanov crushed the final meters for his first World Cup podium finish in 58:01.
Andrew McCartney flew out of the water in a speedy 8:14 and went billowing for his bike with a 19-second lead. The Canadian was followed by a huge contingency of men, making for a congested transition zone.
Led by Peter Kerr (AUS), the men hustled towards the three-lap bike course. On the first lap, several men fell rounding a corner, including Canada’s Andrew Yorke, while the rest of the men reeled in McCartney. But the Canadian was relentless and held strong at the top of the lead pack. Meanwhile, pre-race favourites Kerr and Jones rode safely in the middle of the pack, conserving energy for the run.
With a speedy transition, Ivanov was first off his bike to head for the run course followed by 22 men hungry for the podium. The first lap of the run separated the eventual medallists from the field, with Rouault, Jones, Ivanov & Rodrigo Gonzalez (MEX) all hammering shoulder to shoulder as they jetted for the bell lap.
But it was Rouault who dug deep and pulled ahead in the final crucial turns towards the finish. With a goal to get on the World Triathlon Series circuit, Rouault wouldn’t be beat on Sunday as he claimed his first World Cup victory.
Jones earned silver in 57:46 while an ecstatic Ivanov pumped his fists in felicity with his bronze medal.
“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s my first time at all on an ITU podium. I tried to push the run and it worked,” Ivanov said. “I’m really excited and I want to do my best on the next races. Without support of ITU, I can’t fly here and I can’t spend some days here in this beautiful town. I hope can arrive here for the World Championships next year.”
Canada scored a huge day in the women’s race, as Emelie Kretz, Ellen Pennock and Kirsten Sweetland swept the podium for the host country at the 2013 Edmonton ITU Triathlon World Cup.
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.