LONDON – It may not have been the World Championship result, or year, he was looking for, but Canada’s Kyle Jones believes a strong foundation is set for a bright road ahead to Rio 2016.
The 28-year-old Oakville resident finished as the top Canadian in 19th spot after posting a time of 1:50:06 in the men’s elite Grand Final of the World Triathlon Series under brutally wet and cold conditions on Sunday (Sept. 15) in London’s Hyde Park.
“When it is this cold, you just feel like you are running on stumps, but it is the same for everybody – some are able to respond differently to the conditions,” said Jones. “This is the race where it counted all year, in a non-Olympic year. Obviously, I wanted to equal or better my result (ninth place) from last year, but given the depth of the field and the importance of the race, I can’t be too disappointed.”
Jones was in decent position in the chase pack after the 1.5-kilometre swim in London’s Serpentine, but with the talent as strong as it is at the international level, seconds become costly positions on the leader board.
“When you are a little bit off, it is seconds, which will cost you big time given the depth of the field. Aside from Javier (Gomez) and Jonathon (Brownlee), there are a long line of guys together, and seconds means 19th or ninth.”
Gomez and Brownlee put on a triathlon show for the ages in front of the world on Sunday, demonstrating they are in a class of their own. Controlling the front pack for the 750-metre swim in the Serpentine located in the middle of Hyde Park, the two Olympic medallists worked the lead group on the 40-kilometre bike course which winds past many of London’s historic landmarks, before having the ultimate sparring match on the 10-kilometre run – with the title coming down to a sprint finish.
Playing cat and mouse with each other in the final loop on the three-lap run, the top-two athletes in the sport ran toe-to-toe down the finish stretch where Spain’s Gomez was eventually crowned the king of triathlon for 2013 after posting a winning time of 1:48:16.
Brownlee, of Great Britain, was second at 1:48:17. Kyle Jones’ training partner, Mario Mola from Spain, ran to the bronze-medal step of the podium with a time of 1:49:10.
“Priority one was always the training, and to train at a different level this year. It is not an excuse. My training has gone up a level. I am toe-to-toe with Mario (Mola) everyday in training so now I need to find a way to demonstrate that training on race day,” said Jones, who has had an up-and-down season following his Olympic debut on the London course one year ago.
“I have gone through this Olympic cycle twice now, and I’m starting to learn how to approach each year. This year was about building the foundation to set me up for Rio, and I think we accomplished that with the level of training that I did. I just need to be patient, and hopefully come Rio, we can look back and say this is where we started and we got better each year. It is a long process. I need to be consistent day-in-and-day-out, and hopefully the results will come. That is the goal!”
Two other Canadians also hit the start line for Sunday’s Grand Final. Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., placed 42nd (1:51:46), while Victoria’s Andrew McCartney placed 55th at 1:55:37.
Canada will host the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton. For more information, please visit www.edmontontriathlon.org