Canadian Triathletes Celebrate First Career Silver and Bronze Medals in World Cup Action
VICTORIA— Two Canadian triathletes – Kamylle Frenette and Tyler Mislawchuk – grabbed the first World Cup medals of their career on Sunday. Frenette, of Dieppe, N.B., won the silver medal in her first-ever Para-triathlon World Cup race in Besancon, France, while Olympic veteran, Mislawchuk of Oak Bluff, Man., battled to the bronze Antwerp, Belgium.
The 22-year-old Frenette was solid through the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run to finish with a time of 1:19:09 in the women’s PTS5 category.
“I didn’t have a lot of expectations going into the race since was first race outside of North America,” said Frenette, who joined the Canadian program this spring. “My swim went really well. I was feeling comfortable in the water. The bike and run were also good, but I definitely have a lot to learn. I’m more than excited for the journey ahead.”
Frenette finished behind Gwladys Lemoussu, of France, who grabbed top spot on the podium with a time of 1:16:54. The Ukraine’s Alisa Kolpakchy grabbed the final spot on the toughest classification in the women’s field with a time of 1:21:10.
Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk continued his strong start to the season with his first career World Cup podium in Antwerp, Belgium. Mislawchuk, who finished a career-best fourth in World Triathlon Series racing last month in Yokohama, Japan, clocked a bronze-medal time of 58:17 in the sprint distance race.
“A race with cobblestones everywhere made it so hard, but I’m happy to be on the podium,” said Mislawchuk. “It was a great battle, but honestly to finish third just a half- second back is tough. I just didn’t have the legs in last 200 metres. I’m stoked to have the bronze though.”
The 23-year-old came out of the water after the 750-metre swim with the top-three athletes and was in complete control of the field, trying to push a breakaway on the first kilometre of the 22-kilometre bike course, but they were quickly reeled back in by a large chase group, forming a sizeable train through the cobblestone streets on a highly-technical course.
With the large pack charging into second transition, it was clear the medals would come down to the five-kilometre run with Canada’s Mislawchuk and Matt Sharpe (Victoria) both amongst 10 athletes in the mix. The group dwindled to five with one lap remaining, causing a long sprint for the podium. In the end it came down to Belgium’s Jelle Geens, New Zealand’s Tayler Reid and Mislawchuk. The hometown boy Geens used the crowd to his advantage, winning the sprint finish with a time of 58:15. Reid settled for second in the photo finish at 58:15, while Mislawchuk was third.
“I love racing on the cobbles. Technical riding is one of my strengths so that’s why I wanted to come here. I tried to breakaway on the bike, and by the end my legs were kind of cooked. That was an honest course and a hard race, but I’m happy to be third.” Sharpe also finished strong in fifth spot at 58:24.