Edmonton, AB will host a series of events this weekend at their triathlon festival taking place in Halwreak Park in cities river valley. The weekend will boast PATCO Juniour Championships, Canadian Age-Group National Championships and finish with the title World Cup race in a sprint format. A team relay event was scheduled for the Friday but had to dropped due to a disappointing lack of numbers.
As mentioned the race will be sprint distance for both Juniour and Senior here. The course will feature the same congested swim loop in the parks chlorinated duck pond, with a newly designed bike/run. The bike loop will feature two climbs per 5k lap while the run will be similar in topography, one slight elevation, to the old route. The climbs on the cycle are not steep but over 4 laps the 8 reps will play a factor in leg freshness come the 5k run.
Beginning with the Juniour events, this race is an important one for TriCanada Juniour World Team selection. Two juniours can qualify with a top 5 finish for women and top 10 for men. Take at look at our preview here
Moving on to the senior events we unfortunately have smaller fields here in both. The timing of the event with others in Europe (French GP + Holten Euro Cup) has undoubtedly caused this. The womens field is full of Canadians, with just three internationals on the line. Womens Startlist can be found here.
Flora Duffy (BER) is the odds on favourite. She has showed world-class swim/bike perfomances in recent racing at Huatulco and San Diego, however if it comes down to the run then there are Canadians that will take the tape. There is a slew of Canadian talent racing here from veterans Campbell, Widney and Letourneau, to emerging world talent in Brault and Brown.
Duffy will certainly lead this thing out of the pond. We may see Hooper, Moore, Pennock, Campbell, Wyman (CAN), and Kawishima (JPN) on her heels or just back. Over 750m the gaps will be small and we will likely see the main group less than 20s down out of T1.
Out onto the bike look for Duffy to get away and attempt to do this thing solo. If someone in that front group can hold her wheel I’d advise staying there and just hold on.
If some athletes can tag onto Duffy and rattle her a bit by towing them we could see the race come together. I feel the Duffy the Dictator will not get away on this and we will see a small’ish group coming off the bike together including Campbell, Duffy and Brault. Brown will be an interesting case for this group, boderline, make or break.
Onto the run we will be in for a treat. At least a half-dozen of these Canuck women have run under 17:00 on the road this season so a fast, tight foot-race will be in order.
At the line I feel we see the podium as:
Campbell, Brault, Duffy
Mens Startlist can be found here.
Out of the water here McCartney (CAN) will lead the formalities with Frommhold (GER) nipping at his heels. T1 will be absolutely critical. The significant run to the bikes and first hill will splinter the group, precious seconds can be gained/lost here.
With the pull-out of Whitfield from the race the front group will lack some firepower but still have motivation to stick. Shoemakers position out of the water will have an impact on how the bike unfolds here as his swim will be on the fence. Don (GBR) will be driving that chase group for sure with the likes of Yorke (CAN) and Bowden (GBR). Left hand shifting will be as foreign as a Stampeders fan here as the boys will need to push mad watts to close that gap early.
Into T2, things will have come together with perhaps a small get away of 3 young guns going all in with 15s. The contender group on this 5k will form quickly with the players Don, Jones, Shoemaker, Bowden
Coming down to a great finish the podium is:
Jones, Don, Shoemaker
Darkhorse: Kealey (AUS)