Jonathan Brownlee won gold at the penultimate ITU World Triathlon Series race of the season in Edmonton with British athletes Grant Sheldon, Tom Bishop and Adam Bowden also inside the top seven. Olympic bronze medallist, Vicky Holland was fifth in the women’s race.
Racing over the sprint distance Brownlee got into a group with Aaron Royle (AUS) and Richard Varga (SVK) on the 20km bike leg. They had to work hard to stay ahead of the chasing pack, and had only a small lead at the start of the run. However, Brownlee looked supreme running away and gave himself plenty of time to enjoy the victory ahead of Mario Mola (ESP) and Richard Murray (RSA).
Brownlee said: “We were riding hard, and then I got on to the run and I knew they [the group] were going to catch up a little, but I felt I was getting better during the run, I felt like I was getting a bit fitter.”
Brownlee now sits second to Mola in the Series rankings with just the Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico to come in two weeks.
He added: “It’s all about Mario in Cozumel now. He’s got four wins and one second; you can’t do much better than that. If he has a good race he’s won.” However, Brownlee hinted that older brother, Alistair, who was not racing today, might help him to a good result in Cozumel.
Grant Sheldon and Tom Bishop had a sprint finish for fourth and fifth with Adam Bowden seventh. Bowden now moves up to sixth in the Series, whilst Sheldon and Bishop had their best ever results at this level.
Vicky Holland finished fifth in the women’s race, with Non Stanford seventh. USA dominated, claiming the top three places with Summer Cook announcing herself as someone to look out for in the future.
Cook covered up for the cold conditions with full-length black base layers on her arms and legs. She struggled on corners on the bike, often needing to chase the leading pack, and she lost 13 seconds coming into the final transition. However, she ran past athletes including Series leader Flora Duffy (BER) and regular podium finisher, Sarah Groff (USA).
It was a bad day for Jodie Stimpson, who was unable to finish due to an Achillies tendon injury. She still sits in third place overall in the Series, but may not be able to compete in the Grand Final in two weeks time.
The ITU World Triathlon Grand Final takes place in Cozumel, 17-18 September. Before then, attentions will turn to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where Paratriathlon will make its debut next weekend.
Pictures: David Pearce / British Triathlon