(ISN) – MOOLOOLABA, Aus.—Canada’s Amelie Kretz got the 2015 triathlon season off to a blistering start by winning the silver medal at the World Cup opener in Mooloolaba, Australia on Saturday.
Battling through a series of injuries that sidelined her for the bulk of the 2014 season, the 21-year-old Kretz demonstrated her offseason training by taking on many of the world’s best triathletes and one of the toughest sprint courses in the world. The Blainville, Que. product ran onto the silver-medal step of the podium after punching the clock at one hour, one minute, 46 seconds (1:01:46).
“I was feeling strong and confident. My training has been going very well here in Australia,” said Kretz, who also won a Continental Cup race one week ago. “Winning last week just confirmed my fitness was coming around. I was confident that I could execute a good race. It feels great to get a medal on a classic World Cup course here in Mooloolaba. The race is always hard here and the field always strong. It’s a big World Cup so it feels good to finish with a medal.”
Kretz survived a difficult 750-metre swim in the choppy water, exiting the first transition in second spot and began working with Ashleigh Gentle to try and stay away from the field on the 20-kilometre technical bike course. But the chase pack reeled the two front-runners in at the end of the first lap, where Kretz was among three Canadians, including Paula Findlay and Sarah-Anne Brault, that worked the front of the pack.
“The swim conditions were pretty rough, but I’ve been training in worse conditions in Wollongong so I wasn’t too worried,” added Kretz, whose been in Australia since the New Year. “When the pack caught us, I just focused the rest of the bike on positioning myself well in the technical sections and keep the pace nice and high.”
Kretz bolted out of the second transition onto the five-kilometre run in the third spot where she responded to Spain’s Tamara Gomez Garrido’s surge to pull away from the field. On the bell lap Gomez Garrido surged one more time and the Canuck couldn’t respond.
“I controlled the pace for the rest of the run because I didn’t want the chase pack to catch us. I knew the girls behind were fast runners,” said Kretz. “I think I made a tactical mistake by controlling the pace, but it was a risk I was willing to take today.”
It was the second World Cup medal of the Quebecers young career. Kretz also won the gold at a World Cup in Edmonton nearly two years ago.
Spain’s Gomez Garrido outlasted Kretz in the run for the gold, clocking a winning time of 1:01:42. Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle won the race for the bronze medal with a time of 1:02:01.
Canada’s other top women’s triathletes also managed solid finishes in Mooloolaba. Edmonton’s Paula Findlay clocked-in at 1:02:42 to place 11th, while Sarah-Anne Brault ran to 13th spot. Brault, of Quebec City, posted a time of 1:03:00.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s Michael Lori was the top Canadian in the men’s race. Lori placed 17th with a time of 56:03.3. Quebec City’s Alexis Lepage finished 45th at 57:11.1, while Tyler Mislawchuk, of Oak Bluff, Man., was 56th with a time of 58:49.8.
David Hauss, of France, won the men’s race with a time of 55:21.8. Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle claimed the silver at 55:23.1, while Spain’s Vicente Hernandez grabbed the bronze with a time of 55:30.6.
The World Triathlon Series will take centre stage in Auckland, New Zealand, March 28-29, 2015.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, 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.
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Tamara Gomez Garrido, ESP, 1:01:42; 2. Amelie Kretz, Blainville, Que., CAN, 1:01:46; 3. Ashleigh Gentle, AUS, 1:02:01; 4. Jessica Broderick, USA, 1:02:03; 5. Lisa Perterer, AUT, 1:02:05
Other Canadian Results:
11. Paula Findlay, Edmonton, 1:02:42; 13. Sarah-Anne Brault, Quebec City, 1:03:00
1. David Hauss, FRA, 55:21.8; 2 Jacob Birtwhistle, AUS, 55:23.1; 3. Vicente Hernandez, ESP, 55:30.6; 4. Tony Dodds, NZL, 55:36.6; 5. Jesus Gomar, ESP, 55:38.3
17. Michael Lori, Ontario, 56:03.3; 45. Alexis Lepage, Quebec City, 57:11.1; 56. Tyler Mislawchuk, Oak Bluff, Man., 58:49.8.