Just over a week ago, Kyle Jones was making plans on heading to a hospital to have surgery. But after a discussion with doctors, Jones’ trip took a significant detour when the young Canuck hopped on a plane to Madrid, where he turned in a gutsy effort to finish 23rd at the ITU Triathlon World Championship Series race on Sunday (June 6).
The 25-year-old from Oakville suffered his first set of injuries in his only other race this year while starting the run in Seoul, Korea where he was forced to the sidelines with cramping in his legs. Jones discovered he had a blocked artery in the left leg which caused the cramping. Despite debating to do surgery over the last couple of weeks, Jones was cleared by doctors to suit up for the Madrid race.
“Given everything that has gone on over the last month, I have to be pretty happy with the way things went today,” said Jones, who finished 23rd with a time of 1:55:55. “In speaking with my coach heading into the race, our plan was to swim as hard as I can, stay in near the front of the group on the bike and keep relaxed in transition two and build into the run. I was able to do that today so it was a step in the right direction.”
Jones was well placed in the pack of 65 men coming out of the warm waters at Casa de Campo Lake and worked within the chase group to form one large pack of riders on the sixth lap of the difficult 40-kilometre trek on the bike through the streets of the Spanish capital.
“The bike here is a crapshoot because it is a very tough course so I just wanted to stick to the plan and stay at the front,” said Jones. “I didn’t want to do anything crazy in the second transition and worked my way into the run. I had some pain in the first two laps but pushed through it, and then actually felt pretty good.”
While Jones took a big step getting back into elite racing form, the reigning World Champion Alistair Brownlee also returned to the World Championship Series from injury to successfully defend his title in Spain.
The 22-year-old Brit pulled away from the elite pack of eight mid-way through the run with Australia’s Courtney Atkinson. The duo ran side-by-side until the final 500-metres where Brownlee surged down the finishing stretch to clock a winning time of 1:52:41. Atkinson settled for second spot at 1:52:51.
Switzerland’s Sven Riederer locked up third spot after clocking-in at 1:53:07.
Created in 2009, the ITU World Championship Series is an innovative series that allows the world’s
top triathletes to compete in eight races around the world. Athletes, who start in Sydney, will travel the globe to compete in Asia, Europe and North America, culminating with the Grand Final in Budapest in September.
The world’s best triathletes will now head to North America for one of the most prestigious races on the international triathlon calendar. Athletes will compete in the Des Moines, Iowa World Cup for a first-place prize cheque of $200,000.