MONTREAL—Tyler Mislawchuk fought through challenging conditions on the slick streets of Old Montreal to post an eighth-place finish on Sunday in the final World Triathlon Series race before the prestigious Grand Final.
The 24-year-old Olympian clocked a time of 1:49:26 in the Olympic distance format for his best World Triathlon Series result on Canadian soil.
“It feels great to finally have a nice race at home,” said the Oak Bluff, Man. resident, who chalked up a career-best fourth-place WTS finish earlier this summer in Japan. “It was a good day, and I am happy with it, but you always want a little more as an athlete.”
Mislawchuk rebounded after a challenging 1.5-kilometre swim in the choppy waters of Jacques-Cartier Basin. Climbing up the steep ramp out of the water into the first transition in 16th spot, the wiry Canuck quickly found his place in a train of more than 30 riders for the eight-lap bike course.
“I got beat up a bit in the water. It was just a bad swim. The energy was fine when I got onto the bike because I didn’t expend too much. I was just kind of stuck, but I didn’t count myself out,” said Mislawchuk.
Tactically maneuvering his way around the tight, slippery corners throughout the 40-kilometre ride winding its way in Canada’s oldest city, the leader of the Canadian squad took advantage of his strengths to set himself up for a solid run.
“The weather didn’t affect me too much. It helps being a technical rider, so I prefer the rain,” he added. “It just makes everyone a little more cautious on the corners. It isn’t necessarily easier because you have to slow down and then have to speed up, so you aren’t able to carry your speed.”
With four athletes breaking away midway through the bike, and Canada’s 21-year-old Charles Paquet who was competing in his World Triathlon Series race jumping into the mix himself, Mislawchuk along with his fellow Canucks, Matt Sharpe and Alexis Lepage stayed out of trouble in the large pack wheeling into second transition.
When all was said and done, Mislawchuk held on for another top-10 result with a strong 10-kilometre run.
Victoria’s Matt Sharpe, who swam on Mislawchuk’s hip and was strong on the bike, was 19th at 1:50:16. Charles Paquet, of Port Cartier, Que., had a strong opening outing on the elite race series, that included a 10th-place swim and his breakaway on the bike. Paquet finished 29th at 1:52:49. Alexis Lepage, of Gatineau, Que., was 37th (1:57:08). John Rasmussen, of Hamilton, was 40th (2:00:16).
The day belonged to Spain’s Mario Mola who captured the gold medal following another brilliant run, finishing with a time of 1:47:46. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt was solid in swim, bike and run to snag the silver medal at 1:48:02. Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle, placed third at 1:48:28.
The top triathletes on the planet will now prepare for the World Triathlon Series Grand Final that will take place in Gold Coast, Australia, September 12-16.