by Chris Dornan
March 1, 2014, CLERMONT, Fla. (ISN) – Canada’s Andrew Yorke and Joanna Brown kicked the 2014 triathlon series off with a bang after winning a silver and bronze medal respectively at the season-opening ITU Pan American Cup sprint race in Clermont, Florida on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Yorke put his off-season training to a successful test by completing the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run course in a time of 56 minutes, 28 seconds.
“I really wanted to make it a hard race today and see what I got out of it,” said Yorke. “I was focused on a good swim and bike and wanted to get out front on the run. I did a lot of pulling on the bike today, and went as hard as I could so I’m happy with how things played out.”
Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., is looking to take a major step forward in getting into the elite group of athletes when the World Triathlon Series kicks off next month.
“I’ve done less training to this point than in previous years because I wasn’t making it through the season and being healthy when it mattered the most,” added Yorke. “I’m taking things pretty simple. All the tests and trials show that I’m stronger now than I have been in the past. I’m swimming the best ever. I feel way better on the bike, and the run was good. Everything seems to be on track and that was the point of this weekend.”
Mexico’s Irving Perez won the men’s race with a time of 56:22. American, William Huffman, grabbed the bronze with a time of 56:57.
Alexis Lepage, of Gatineau, Que., was the only other Canadian male to crack the top-15. Lepage, who is making his jump to the senior ranks this year, clocked a 12th-place time of 58:08.
Canada’s rising star, Joanna Brown of Carp, Ont., also climbed onto the podium on Saturday in Florida. The 22-year-old Brown, who has a handful of Pan American Cup medals in her career, added the bronze to her mantle after stopping the clock at 1:03:48.
“It was a good starting point for me. I can’t say that I was happy with the race, but part of being high performance is also having high standards,” said Brown.
Brown tried to take advantage of a good start number to follow Mexico’s Claudia Rivas in the middle of the start, but it was a decision that came back to bite the Canuck as she got pummeled in the water to the first buoy. After a difficult first transition, Brown put the hammer down on the bike and bridged on her own to the lead chase pack.
“I was nervous for the run today. My legs felt really heavy and they weren’t happy to be going right after that bike,” added Brown, who also had a penalty in the first loop. “All in all it was a great way to shake out the cobwebs and have a punchy start to the season. I’m looking forward to another opportunity to race next weekend.”
Brown’s teammate and close friend, Amelie Kretz of Blainville, Que., narrowly missed the podium in fourth spot. Kretz punched the clock at 1:03:53.
Sarah Haskins, of the United States, set the time to beat in the women’s race at 1:02:55. Claudia Rivas grabbed the silver at 1:03:22.
Calgary’s Alex Coates was 12th at 1:05:25, while Victoria’s Alison Hooper also squeaked into the final spot of the top-15 at 1:05:56.
Canada sent 15 athletes to the start line in Florida. For a complete list of results, please visit www.triathlon.org.
The World Triathlon Series gets underway in Auckland, New Zealand, April 6-7, 2013.
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 ITU World Cup Results (750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike, 5 kilometre run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Six Men’s Results:
1. Irving Perez, MEX, 56:22; 2. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont., CAN, 56:28; 3. William Huffman, USA, 56:57; 4. Carlos Javier Quincharo Forero, COL, 57:11; 5. Kaleb Vanort, USA, 57:15
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Sarah Haskins, USA, 1:02:55; 2. Claudia Rivas, MEX, 1:03:22; 3. Joanna Brown, Carp, Ont., 1:03:48; 4. Amelie Kretz, Blainville, Que., CAN, 1:03:53; 5. Anne Tabarant, FRA, 1:03:53