NEW PLYMOUTH, Nzl.—Three of Canada’s best triathletes had a solid final tune-up race for the start of the World Triathlon Series with each of them storming into the top-10 at a World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand on Sunday.
Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland led the Canadian charge, and narrowly missed the podium with a fifth-place finish. The 25-year-old Victoria resident clocked a time of 58 minutes, two seconds (58:02) in the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike, and five-kilometre run sprint distance race.
Sweetland and teammate, Paula Findlay, put together a solid swim and bike before the field separated itself on the run. Competing in just her second World Cup race in three years, Edmonton’s Findlay took another step forward in her rebuild from injury to her top form that saw her win five World Triathlon Series races. Findlay, who was 17th last week, was ninth on Sunday with a time of 58:44.
Katie Hursey, of the United States, won the women’s race with a time of 57:27. Andrea Hewitt, of New Zealand, thrilled the hometown crowd with a silver-medal time of 57:38. Jodie Stimpson, of Great Britain, rounded out the women’s podium in third at 57:39.
Kyle Jones, of Oakville, Ont., also took a step forward in his preparations for the start of the World Triathlon Series. The 29-year-old Jones grabbed eighth spot with a time of 53:13.
“This was a nice progression from last weekend. I feel all is looking well heading into the first race in Auckland in two weeks time,” said Jones. “I’m very happy with the race today.”
Spain’s Mario Mola won for the second straight week after posting a time of 52:30. Javier Gomez, also of Spain, grabbed the silver after stopping the clock at 52:33, while Portugal’s Joao Silva finished third at 52:56.
Victoria’s Andrew McCartney placed 39th at 54:42. Two other Canadians – Victoria’s Matt Sharpe and Winnipeg’s Tyler Mislawchuk, also hit the start line, but did not finish.
1. Mario Mola (ESP) 52:30
2. Javier Gomez (ESP) 52:33
3. Joao Silva (POR) 52:56
4. Fernando Alarza (ESP) 53:03
5. Brendan Sexton (AUS) 53:08
6. Ryan Sissons (NZL) 53:10
7. David Hauss (FRA) 53:11
8. Kyle Jones (CAN) 53:13
9. Dan Wilson (AUS) 53:22
10. Laurent Vidal (FRA) 53:26
For complete results of the New Plymouth World Cup, click here.