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At the site of her ITU World Cup debut ten years ago, Canadian Lauren Campbell brought it all full circle, running away to her first career World Cup title today in Edmonton. In a race that doubled as the Canadian Championships, Campbell was crowned National Champion as well, anchoring a Canadian gold-silver sweep as Sarah-Anne Brault came across second for silver. Bermuda’s Flora Duffy took the bronze.
“I’m shocked, I’m absolutely shocked,” said Campbell at the finish area. “I didn’t have any expectations for this race, I really didn’t think I was going to win.”
A gorgeous and hot day greeted the small elite women’s field for the first sprint distance World Cup of 2012. After the 750m non-wetsuit swim, Duffy led the women out of the water with a sizable lead over Japan’s Eri Kawashima. By the time Duffy left T1, she was up by more than 20 seconds and set out for the 21.3km bike course solo.
Duffy managed to extend her lead over the field to 35 seconds after the first lap, but the chase group of about nine women, which included Brault and Campbell, worked together to trim the lead to ten seconds by the midway point of the bike. Duffy was eventually reeled in by the end of the third lap, resulting in about 12 women in the lead group.
They rolled into T2 together but it was Duffy again who shot to the lead and first onto the 5km run course. She had local favourite Chantell Widney, Brault and Alexandra Coates not far behind. Campbell left T2 in sixth place but soon showed off her running prowess, passing her fellow Canadians and soon running with Duffy at the front.
Campbell surged ahead for good and capped off her first World Cup victory with the day’s fastest run split at 17:16 while breaking the tape at 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 42 seconds.
“I didn’t have ideal preparation and I came here hoping for a top ten, some prize money but when I saw myself in the lead I went for it,” said Campbell. “I love it here, it was my first World Cup in 2002 so it’s fun to return ten years later and win.”
Brault came across ten seconds after Campbell for silver while Duffy dropped to third, finishing four seconds behind Brault for the bronze. It was the second World Cup podium of 2012 for both Brault and Duffy. Today also marked the second World Cup this year in which two Canadian women made the podium. In Ishigaki, Japan earlier this year, Kathy Tremblay won while Brault took the bronze.
Canadian youngster Ellen Pennock was impressive in her World Cup debut, finishing in fourth place, despite serving a 10-second penalty.
Earlier in the day, Adriana Barraza of Mexico won the PATCO Pan American Junior Championships with a time of 1 hour, 2 minutes and 58 seconds. Tamara Gorman of the U.S. finished four seconds back of Barraza for silver while Gabrielle Edwards of Canada took the bronze. Click here for full PATCO Jr results