ALANYA, Turkey —Oakville, Ont., native Kyle Jones is having a memorable finish to what has been a challenging season by capturing his second straight World Cup triathlon podium Sunday (Oct. 18). Jones battled through the high heat in Alanya, Turkey to win the bronze medal.
Building on the confidence gained from a silver-medal finish two weeks ago in Cozumel, Mexico, the 30-year-old Jones was steady throughout the 1.5-kilometre swim in the Mediterranean Sea, the 40-kilometre bike course and 10-kilometre run – posting a time of 1:45:27.
“I’m very happy with another World Cup podium finish today, and it is a great way to end the season,” said Jones. “I didn’t quite have the pop in my legs on the run in comparison to Cozumel so I relied more on strength today.
“We had a group of 12 early on in the run and I knew if I was patient guys would start to fall off the pace. There was a short hill on each of the four laps, and I decided to push a little more going up the third lap. I was able to create a gap with only a couple of others that followed. That move ultimately got me on the podium.”
It was the fourth career World Cup podium finish for Jones. He also has a gold and silver medal in two World Cup races in Edmonton.
It is a sweet ending to what has been a frustrating season for Jones who lives in Oakville with his wife and young child. The 2012 Olympian was sidelined for most of the year after a bike crash in the spring. Returning to compete on Canada’s Pan American Games squad down the street from where he grew up, Jones was dealt another blow when a pylon on the racecourse pierced his tire. He succumbed to racing in freezing cold weather at the World Triathlon Series race in Edmonton before fatigue got the best of him at the Grand Final in Chicago.
A string of bad luck that would question anyone to continue or just pack it in for the year, the veteran of the Canadian Triathlon Team was determined to put together a string of podium finishes to end the year, while not losing sight of his ultimate goal – earning his way back to the Olympics next summer.
“I knew I was capable of these performances despite all the setbacks. Through it all, I’ve always kept my head down and continued to move forward. To be able to go out and deliver feels great,” said Jones. “These last two results were important for me to improve my ranking, but more than anything, served as an opportunity to get back to racing at my potential. The confidence and the momentum that I gained over the last few weeks will carry me into next season.”
Jones shared the podium with Portugal’s Joao Pereira who set the golden standard at 1:45:10. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt finished 11 seconds off the lead pace in the silver-medal position with a time of 1:45:27.
Xavier Grenier-Talavera, of Vaudreuil, Que., rounded out his rookie season as a senior triathlete by finishing 44th at 1:49:16.