Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk Sprints to Silver at World Triathlon Cup in Huatulco…Paratriathletes celebrate double medal day in A Coruna, Stefan Daniel wins gold and Kamylle Frenette bronze
HUATULCO, Mex.— Tyler Mislawchuk captured his third straight podium at the World Triathlon Cup in Huatulco, Mexico after sprinting to the silver medal on Sunday morning.
The two-time Olympian from Oak Bluff, Man., raced at the front of the pack throughout all three disciplines, finishing the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run course in a time of 53:48.
“This feels pretty darn good. You never know when your next one (podium) is or when your last one is so after a year like last year with the achilles tear, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be on one of these again. I am thankful. I wasn’t even sure I’d make a start line about 12 days ago so I am really happy to be standing up here because it has been a long road,” said Mislawchuk.
Spain’s Genis Grau edged the Canadian at the line after a phenomenal sprint finish down the blue carpet to finish with a time of 53:47. Brazil’s Miguel Hidalgo was third at 53:50.
The 27-year-old Mislawchuk won in each of the last two times he toed the line in the spectacular Huatulco race course.
“I like racing in the heat, but this is also likely the most chill race we do on the World Cup so I love it here,” added Mislawchuk, who now has five World Cup podiums on his resume in addition to winning the Olympic test event in Tokyo and one third-place finish on the World Triathlon Championship Series.
The cagey veteran exercised his race tactics to near perfection on the challenging test Sunday. He came out of the water of the beach-start swim in fifth spot with a trio of Canadians, who all settled into a large pack together for the 20-kilometre ride.
“It was a pretty tactful race – not a typical Huatulco race,” he said. “The strategy was to swim up front, I took the swim pretty hard. Miguel (Hidalgo) was right beside me. I know the class he is so I figured I’d let him lead and tuck in. We started the bike with a few of us, but this is not a course for breakaways so I tried to stay out front on the bike and take it out pretty hard on the run and see where we were at.”
With 40 riders charging into transition 2 within five seconds of the lead, it was clear the hunt for the podium would be determined by foot.
“After about one kilometre there were about 15 guys so I knew it was going to be a tactical race so I started sitting in,” said Mislawchuk. “I got passed in the last 50 metre. I’m not sure if I got outsmarted or outdone on the legs, but either way he outdid me. It came right down to the line but anytime you stand on a podium it feels pretty darn good.”
Battling through an achilles injury following his second, 15th-place finish at the Olympic Games, Canada’s top triathlete has found the joy in training and racing while hooking up with Marc-Antoine Christin, head coach of Triathlon Canada’s National Performance Centre in Victoria, this winter.
“Thanks so much to my coach and my training group. The last few months have been a blast,” he added. “I love waking up every day and doing what I do. It is such an honour. Honestly, I’m blessed to do triathlon for a living.”
The training squad filled with a new generation of Canadians driven to follow Mislawchuk’s path to the international podium were in full force on Sunday. Brock Hoel, of Kelowna, B.C., placed 16th at 54:22. Martin Sobey (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) battled to 24th at 54:43, while Ottawa’s Liam Donnelly was 25th (54:43). Victoria’s Aiden Longcroft-Harris was 37th with a time of 55:21, while Filip Mainville, of Quebec City, rounded out the Canadian contingent in 50th at 56:22.
Canada’s Paratriathletes Celebrate Double Medal Day in Spain
Stefan Daniel and Kamylle Frenette climbed onto the podium for the second-straight week as the World Triathlon Para Cup continued in A Coruna, Spain on Sunday.
Calgary’s Stefan Daniel dusted the field in the men’s standing classification, securing his first victory of the season with a time of 1:00:37.
“I was so excited to be back on the top of a podium again” said Daniel, who has been rounding into top form following an off-season injury. “I’ve had a really tough test the past nine months and this is the first time I’ve felt close to my old self so it was a really special feeling crossing the finish line with that result today.”
After making a mistake in the 750-metre swim, the 25-year-old, double Paralympic medallist stormed back to control the remaining two legs of the race.
“I went off track in the water and lost quite a lot of time because of it,” said Daniel, who also races cross-coutry running at the University of Calgary. “Once I got to transition, I was able to refocus and ride as hard as I could.
“I had the best ride of my career which I’m very proud of. I had a penalty on the run, but I ran decent regardless.”
Portugal’s Filipe Marques was the next best finisher, crossing the line 55 seconds back at 1:01:32. Australia’s Jack Howell finished third at 1:02:21.
Kamylle Frenette, of Dieppe, N.B., snagged her second-straight bronze medal in back-to-back weeks on the World Cup this season.
The 25-year-old clocked a third-place time of 1:11:49 in the women’s standing division.
“After way too many hours spent in the books, I’m very happy to be heading back home with two bronze medals in my suitcase,” said Frenette, who recently earned a degree in pharmacy at the University of Moncton, and was delivering COVID vaccinations in Nova Scotia while continuing her training and preparation for the Tokyo Paralympics, “My goal today was to stay in cotrol and follow my race plan, and I did exactly that. These last two weeks have been a great foundation to the 2022 season and I’m excited to keep building up from here.”
A fourth-place finisher in her Paralympic debut in Tokyo, Frenette will work on closing the gap on world number one, Grace Norman of the United States.
Norman set the time to beat at 1:06:21 on Sunday. Claire Cashmore, of Great Britain, was second at 1:08:11.
Winnipeg’s Leanne Taylor also suited up on Sunday. The 29-year-old was leading the swim in the women’s wheelchair classification when a storm surged into the Spanish town, and athletes were called off the race course.
Canada’s triathlon community will now head to Montreal where they will host the 2022 World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships, June 24-26.
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