—Michael Lori races to 14th at World Cup opener in Australia—
SARASOTA, Fla.—Canada’s Xavier Grenier-Talavera and Andrew Yorke grabbed the top-two spots on the men’s podium at the CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon Championships in Sarasota, Florida.
Grenier-Talavera backed up his season-opening silver-medal performance last week with a golden run on Saturday, rocking a golden time of 52:43.
“It definitely feels great. I wasn’t expecting to start my season like that, but it feels awesome to move up onto the top of the podium from last week,” said Grenier-Talavera.
After a fast 750-metre swim, the 20-year-old from Vaudreuil, Que., hopped on the tail end of the first pack for the 20-kilometre bike ride.
“It took a while getting organized, and working well to bridge the gap to a group of three men off the front of the race. We worked pretty well in the lead pack to maintain our gap on the chasing group,” said Grenier-Talavera, who added the conditions were hot and very windy.
Following a challenging bike ride and slow transition, the promising young Quebecer worked with a group of six on the five-kilometre run. He formed an attack at the turnaround on the second lap where he was able to open a gap on the pack until the finish.
Hot on the Grenier-Talavera’s heels, was fellow Canuck Andrew Yorke. The veteran from Caledon, Ont., bounced back from a disappointing season-opener to claim the silver medal with a time of 52:49.
“It was a good day today. I worked hard in training all week and came in a bit tired, but found my legs and got it going out there,” said Yorke. “The run was very tactical. Xavier made a great move, I tried to close it down towards the end, but left it too late. He ran a great race and should be excited to get his first Continental Cup win.”
Spain’s Fracesc Godoy was third at 52:51.
Dominika Jamnicky, of Guelph, Ont., was the top Canadian in the women’s sprint race. Jamnicky finished fifth at 1:00:30.
The Americans grabbed the top-two spots on the podium. Kaitlin Donner was first at 59:24. Taylor Knibb was second at 59:57. India Lee, of Great Britain, ran to the bronze medal with a time of 1:00:06.
Canada’s Oliver Blecher and Laurin Thorne won the men’s and women’s junior races. Blecher clocked a golden time of 55:14 in men’s action, while Thorne posted a winning time of 1:01:21.
Meanwhile, Michael Lori finished as the top Canadian in 14th spot at the season-opening World Cup race in Mooloolaba, Australia.
Tired after racing four times in four cities over the last month, the Tecumseh, Ont., resident has improved each time. Lori finished in 14th place, posting a time of 53:40 in the challenging sprint race.
“I expected to race hard in a tough field, show my training and I did just that. My racing ability is starting to catch up to my training so I am really happy,” said Lori. “It was super hot and windy. I almost passed out on the finish line. They made the hill on the run longer this year, which was tough, and the swim really choppy and wavy. With 75 guys, you swallowed a lot of water.
“I had a solid swim and with a fast transition, I was into the front pack. The bike ended up all together with 50 guys. I got squeezed out on the final lap and came into transition two at the back. It was my best run to date, but I know I will go faster again.”
Spain’s Mario Mola won for the second straight week with a time of 52:55. Vicente Hernandez, also of Spain, was second at 53:00. Portugal’s Joao Pereira grabbed the bronze with a time of 53:12.
Quebec’s Alexis Lepage was second out of the water, but got tied up in a crash early in the bike and could not finish the race. Kyle Jones, of Oakville, Ont., was running on fumes after a solid opening World Triathlon Series weekend where he was ninth, and pulled out during the run.