Canada’s Xavier Grenier-Talavera Puts Silver Lining Around Triathlon Opener in Florida
Triathlon Canada—Joanna Brown edged off podium in fourth in women’s sprint race—
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.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.
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