By Merryn Sherwood on 03/07/12 at 7:23 am
Triathlon returns to Edmonton for the second year in a row, and the eighth time in the last ten years, but this year there is a twist. The only Canadian stop on the ITU World Cup tour is a sprint distance race, which will be contested over a one lap 750 swim in Hawrelak Park Lake, then a four-lap 21.3km hilly and technical bike leg, followed by a 5km run that includes one tough hill. Click here for a course map
Elite Women’s Preview
There is a strong Canadian contigent at home, but Bermuda’s Flora Duffy will wear the No.1 in Edmonton. Duffy notched her first ITU World Cup win in Huatulco this year, and has also posted a pair of top 10 finishes in the ITU World Triathlon Series in the past seventh months (San Diego and the Beijing Grand Final). Duffy is also London bound, and another podium is sure to give her a confidence boost ahead of her second Olympic appearance.
The home team will be led by rising star Sarah-Anne Brault and the experienced Lauren Campbell. Brault claimed her first World Cup podium in Ishigaki earlier this year, as well as claiming the 2012 PATCO Pan American Championships title, while Campbell is a regular top 10 WTS series finisher. They will be joined by a host of young Canadians looking for their first World Cup podiums, including Ellen Pennock who won last year’s PATCO Junior race in Edmonton and makes her World Cup debut this weekend, Allison Hooper, Manon LeTourneau, Alexandra Coates and hometown favourite Chantell Widney. Others to watch for include Lindsey Jerdonek (USA) and Eri Kawashima (JPN).
It will be the first time in the last five races that an Australian women will not win Edmonton, after Loretta Harrop won in 2004, Emma Snowsill took the title in 2005 and 2006, Emma Moffatt won in 2007 and Ashleigh Gentle in 2011. This year no Australian women are on the start list.
Elite Men’s Preview
The race offers a final chance for fans to see two members of its Canadian Olympic team in action, including soon to be four-time Olympian Simon Whitfield and Kyle Jones. Whitfield is also a multiple Edmonton winner, in 2002 and 2003, and another World Cup win could see him move to outright second on the list of overall wins. Whitfield is currently equal second with Javier Gomez, as both have 12 World Cup titles. Jones finished in fourth place in Edmonton last year, which tied his career-best World Cup result.
While the Canadian London-bound pair will start as favourites, there are also some other athletes who will be aiming for form with less than a month to go until the Games, including the USA’s Manuel Huerta. The USA men’s team is strong, alongside Huerta there is Jarrod Shoemaker, and Kevin McDowell who is down for his World Cup debut. McDowell won silver at the inagural Youth Olympic Games and then bronze in the 2010 Junior Men’s World Championship race, before being diagnosed with cancer. He made his comeback at a sprint distance Pan American Cup last year, and made his full distance ITU debut in a Pan American Cup in Dallas earlier this year.
Others to watch include Canadians Andrew Yorke, who has made his mark with strong bike legs so far this year including a breakaway on the tough Huatulco course, and Matthew Sharpe, Mexico’s Arturo Garza and the strong British team. Three-time Olympian and 2006 World Champion Tim Don will wear No.1, and Mark Buckingham and Adam Bowden finished fourth and fifth respectively in Banyoles. Don can also move up the list of all-time World Cup wins with a victory, he currently sits in equal 10th with six wins, but could move up to equal sixth with seven wins.
The gets underway when the women’s elite starts at 2pm (local time) on Sunday 8 July, followed by the men’s race at 3.30pm. You can follow live timing and live text at triathlon.org/live, live tweets @triathlonlive, and find the full wrap and video highlights at triathlon.org after the race.
Find more details about this event - 2012 Edmonton ITU Triathlon World Cup