Alexis Lepage lone Canadian finisher in men’s race, placing 43rd—
By Chris Dornan
Kirsten Sweetland photo by Red Bull
HAMBURG, Ger.—Kirsten Sweetland targeted familiar ground in Hamburg, Germany for her return to World Triathlon Series where she finished as the top Canuck in the middle of the field.
The Victoria resident, who was just the second Canadian ever to finish on the World Triathlon Series podium after running to the bronze one year ago at one of the largest triathlon spectacles in the world in Hamburg, placed 34th on Saturday with a time of 59 minutes, 25 seconds. It was the first race all year for Sweetland who has been dealing with a series of health issues.
“I have mixed emotions today. I got beat up pretty good on the swim and it was a rough first transition, but overall I was pleased with the ride and the run,” said the 26-year-old Sweetland. “I had no idea what to expect today. It is all about the process for me right now so when looking at the process, I am happy. The Hamburg fans were amazing as always. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of racing.”
American Gwen Jorgensen continued her electrifying run, winning her 11th straight victory with more than 200,000 fans cheering her on. Arguably the greatest female triathlete ever clocked a time of 57:08 on the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre bike course.
Jorgensen was joined by two Brits on the women’s podium. Vicky Holland was second at 57:13, while Non Stanford claimed the bronze with a time of 57:25.
Sarah-Anne Brault, of Quebec City, placed 41st at 59:49, while Calgary’s Ellen Pennock fought through jet lag and a short recovery period after racing Pan American Games last week in Toronto to finish 57th (1:03:03) on the lightening quick, and highly technical Hamburg track.
“This course is pretty relentless. You have to be on your game,” said Pennock. “I have a lot to learn on the bike, but we’ll come back to Hamburg another day and see if I can improve on it. I feel like I haven’t recovered from Pan Ams yet, but we will move forward and I live to fight another day.”
It was a two-horse competition in the action-packed men’s race with Spain’s Javier Gomez and Vincent Luis, of France, bolting ahead of the field on the run. Running shoulder-to-shoulder, the Frenchman left the Spaniard in his dust with 400-metres to go where he cruised to his first WTS title with a time of 51:54. Gomez, the number-one ranked men’s triathlete was second at 51:58, while his countryman, Mario Mola, had the fastest run of the day to win the bronze medal with a time of 52:20.
Alexis Lepage, of Quebec City, placed 43rd at 54:29. Racing with a banged up rib, Tyler Mislawchuk pulled out of the race on the run and did not finish.
The World Triathlon Series continues on Sunday in Hamburg with the Mixed Relay World Championships. Calgary’s Russell Pennock will race with Lepage. Canada will select which woman will join the team later today.
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Gwen Jorgensen, USA, 57:08; 2. Vicky Holland, GBR, 57:13; 3. Non Stanford, GBR, 57:24; 4. Sarah True, USA, 57:25; 5. Rachel Klamer, NED, 57:38
34. Kirsten Sweetland, Victoria, 59:25; 41. Sarah-Anne Brault, Quebec City, 59:49; 57. Ellen Pennock, Calgary, 1:03:03
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Vincent Luis, FRA, 51:54; 2. Javier Gomez, ESP, 51:58; 3. Mario Mola, ESP, 52:20; 4. Dorian Coninx, FRA, 52:30; 5. Aaron Royle, AUS, 52:37
43. Alexis Lepage, Quebec City, 54:29; DNF. Tyler Mislawchuk, Oak Bluff, Man.