Xavier Grenier-Talavera Puts Silver Lining Around Triathlon Opener

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Xavier Grenier Talavera

—Joanna Brown edged off podium in fourth in women’s sprint race—

 

                                                                                                                Xavier Grenier-Talavera Puts Silver Lining Around Triathlon Opener       

CLERMONT, Fla.—Canada’s Xavier Grenier-Talavera had a nearly perfect start to his 2016 season, winning the silver medal at the CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup development race in Clermont, Florida on Saturday.

The 20-year-old from Vaudreuil, Que., had his second international podium as a senior, and arguably his career-best result, after crossing the finish line second with a time of 53:10.

“It obviously feels awesome to start the season this way,” said Grenier-Talavera. “I just came back from altitude training, and I felt my shape was pretty good. Today was confirmation of that.”

The lanky Canuck was one of eight athletes to exit the 750-metre swim. They held a small gap on the chase group throughout the 20-kilometre bike, and carried a 27 second lead onto the five-kilometre run course.

“We started strong on the first lap and built on that. (Ben) Kanute and I battled it to the line, but he got me in the last 200 metres. It was a good run. I’m very happy with the result and looking forward to Sarasota next week.”

The American Kanute clocked a golden time of 53:08. Matthew Mcelroy, also of the United States, was third at 53:18.

Charles Paquet, of Port Cartier, Que., finished fourth at 53:24, while Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., had a fifth-place finish in his first tune-up race before returning to the World Triathlon Series. Yorke posted a time of 53:30. Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., was seventh at 53:49. John Rasmussen, of Ancaster, Ont., was ninth at 54:00 to round out the Canadians in the top-10.

 

Earlier in the day, 23-year-old Jonanna Brown grinded out a fourth place finish in the women’s sprint event.

A representative of Canada’s 2015 Pan American Games Team, Brown nearly backed up her bronze medal in the Clermont race one year, but finished fourth with a time of 1:00:26.

“There is definitely a lot of rust to shake out, but also a lot of positives to take from today,” said Brown, who has battled a series of setbacks over the last year. “I had a good swim, and bridged up to the chase pack. I pushed hard with a number of Canadians on the bike and caught the leaders on the last lap.

“I started out pretty rough on the run, but the legs came around for a sprint for fourth. I didn’t have a ton of expectations. This race was a huge step for me, and a small victory to just return to racing. It was great to have fun, and want it again. I need to stay patient and appreciate these small victories.”

The Americans grabbed the top-two spots on the women’s podium. Taylor Knibb finished on top with a time of 59:51. Sarah Haskins was second at 1:00:01. India Lee, of Great Britain, finished 20 seconds ahead of Brown to secure the final spot on the podium with a time of 1:00:06.

Two other Canadian women finished in the top-10. Elisabeth Boutin, of Les Cèdres, Que., was solid in sixth spot with a time of 1:00:31, while Emy Legault, of Ile Perrot, Que.  was seventh at 1:00:45.

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