April 6, 2013, Auckland, NZ (ISN) – Canada’s Andrew Yorke kicked off his 2013 race season with a career-best 16th-place finish at the World Triathlon Series race in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday morning.
The 24-year-old Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., battled his way throughout the congested 1.5-kilometre swim before throwing down a gutsy move on the first lap of the 40-kilometre bike where he tried to bridge solo to the lead group. After nearly making it, Yorke had to be patient when a large pack finally formed before a solid 10-kilometre run. Yorke, who was named an alternate on Canada’s 2012 Olympic squad, clocked a finish time of 1:58.19 under warm conditions on the very hilly and highly technical New Zealand course.
“I was trying to conserve for the run, and be ready for a solid 10k”, said Yorke, whose previous best World Triathlon Series finish was 18th at last year’s Grand Final on the same layout. “On the run, I just kept telling myself that every place counts. I was trying to battle for every spot, and not give up any points. I was fortunate to spend part of the winter in Florida and Arizona, and I feel like I’m well ahead of past years at this point. I’m pleased with my improvements and this result.”
It was an unfortunate day for the leader of the Canadian men’s team, Kyle Jones, who also spent a chunk of winter in Florida. The Oakville, Ont. Olympian was well placed coming out of the water to put him in the front group on the bike until the seventh of eight laps when two athletes in front of him collided and took the 28-year-old Canuck down.
“I love this race and courses like this that suit me well don’t come around often,” said Jones. “Everything happened so fast, but my reaction was to get right back on my bike and continue riding. My chain came off and was caught in my derailleur. I eventually fixed it but lost nearly four minutes. I could have easily packed it in, but I did not come all the way over here, and not finish.”
Jones did anything but call it a day. He proved his fitness and that he had one the best winters of training in his career when he exited transition two at the back-end of the field before putting down the sixth-fastest run time.
“It was quite a challenge to motivate myself to run hard knowing I was well out of contention, and no one in sight,” said Jones. “Had I not crashed and come off the bike with the lead group, I truly believe I would have been on the podium today. But that is sport. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair.”
Jones finished 26th with a time of 2:00.28.
Spain’s Javier Gomez remained unbeaten in his four starts on the Auckland, New Zealand course. The 2012 Grand Final winner carried his momentum into the new season to post a golden time of 1:55.51. Mario Mola, also of Spain, finished second at 1:56.03, while Portugal’s Joao Silva ran to the bronze medal with a time of 1:56.22.
No Canadian women competed in New Zealand. A solid group of Canadian men and women will compete at the next stop on the World Triathlete Series in San Diego scheduled for April 19-20.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.
Complete Results (1.5-kilometre swim, 40 kilometre bike, 10 kilometre run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Javier Gomez, ESP, 1:55.51; 2. Mario Mola, ESP, 1:56.03; 3. Joao Silva, POR, 1:56.22; 4. Laurent Vidal, FRA, 1:56.33; 5. Matthew Sharp, GBR, 1:56.51.
16. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont., 1:58.19; 26. Kyle Jones, Oakville, Ont., 2:00.28