EDMONTON – Recently named first-time Olympian, Kyle Jones of Oakville captured his first World Cup victory at the Edmonton Triathlon Festival on Sunday (July 8). His gold medal effort complemented that of Vancouver’s Lauren Groves, who was the women’s gold medallist.
With more than 7,500 Canadian fans cheering them down the finishing stretch, the lone World Cup stop in Canada also served as the National Championships for the nation’s elite triathletes. Canada’s men’s and women’s triathletes dominated the podium with the two gold and two silver medals.
The 27-year-old Jones, who finished fourth at the Edmonton World Cup one year ago, was solid from start-to-finish on the challenging 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run course around Hawrelak Park. Jones, who will now head to London to represent Canada in his first Olympic Summer Games, clocked a combined time of 57 minutes 33 seconds.
“Very pleased to get my first World Cup win and my first national title in the same weekend. It is just great,” said the Hamilton-born Jones. “I came off four weeks of hard training and I didn’t know how I would react. This is a really tough course. I’ve been working on my foot speed. I got out of that transition fast and felt good on the run. I’m very pleased.”
Equally as thrilling as Jones’ victory in the men’s race was 21-year-old Alexander Hinton picking off many of the top names in the sport on the run to climb his way into second spot in his first-ever World Cup race. The lanky native of Kingston, Ont., who trains at the Guelph Training Centre, found another gear on the run to secure the silver with a time of 57:36.
“I’m over the moon. I was just out there to get experience today,” beamed Hinton. “I got off the bike and felt great so I had a crack at it. I was thinking top-10, then mid-way through the run I thought I had a top-five. I had some juice left in the last couple of corners so I had a go at the podium and was able to climb from fourth to second. I’m ecstatic.”
Jarrod Shoemaker, of the United States, finished third at 57:41. Former World Champion, Tim Don of Great Britain, was fourth in 57:45.
While the men capped off a stellar day for the Canucks, it was a Canadian veteran who has had her share of adversity since competing at the 2008 Olympics who also came through to win her first race and second career medal on the World Cup in the women’s race.
With Bermuda’s top-ranked Flora Duffy controlling the pace through the swim and bike course, the 30-year-old Campbell worked well with the chase pack to catch Duffy on the third of four loops on the bike course to set up the run for gold. Campbell dropped Duffy on the final loop of the run and never looked back, posting a winning time of 1:04:42.
“It is mind boggling that I won today. I have had lots of setbacks and this is the first race that I have done in a long time,” said the three-time national champion, Campbell, who has battled through a series of injuries over the last two years. “There is no room for error in a sprint. I ran scared to the line because with all of these young girls in the field you just never know.”
Winnipeg’s 22-year-old Sarah-Anne Brault, who was also named an Olympic alternate this month with Campbell, had a career-best World Cup finish in second spot after posting a time of 1:04:52.
Brault, who captured a bronze in Ishigaki, Japan earlier this year, ran in fourth spot until the final loop where she passed rising Canadian star Ellen Pennock when the young 19-year-old was forced to serve a 10 second penalty. Brault then hunted down Duffy in the final 300-metres to secure the one-two Canadian finish.
Duffy, who will compete at the 2012 Games, settled for third spot at 1:04:56. Calgary’s Ellen Pennock wrapped up a successful World Cup debut in fourth at 1:05:24.
Earlier in the day Canada also claimed two medals as the top juniors in the America’s dove into the pond at Hawrelak Park to compete in the PATCO Junior Pan American Championships.
Winnipeg’s Tyler Mislawchuk won a silver in the junior men’s race, while Saskatoon’s Gabrielle Edwards claimed third spot in the women’s race.