With announcement of Edmonton gaining the 2014 WTS Grand Finale, athletes will perhaps gain a sneak peak of next years course for the upcoming big show. Further changes to last years bike course will see the athletes do one 10k loop featuring several hills and an tunnel section, followed by two 5k, out and back, loops up Groat road. The run remains similar as a two loop 5k out and back parallel to Groat road. Doubling as the Canadian championships for senior and U23 there will be some great racing for both ITU and Domestic prestige. Heavy rain of recent in Alberta should side for Sunday bringing sun and pleasant mid 20’s for the races.
On the women’s side, defending champion Lauren Groves (CAN) will unfortunately not be returning after announcing retirement just recently. Sarah-Anne Brault and Flora Duffy however will be back to contend for podium placings once again. After swimming 100m+ more than other athletes in Huatulco, Rivas (MEX) will be looking to use her swim strength effectively this time around in conjunction with Duffy (BER); these two should have a slight lead out of the water over a main pack featuring many podium threats in Densham (AUS) who is making her 2013 debut, and a slew of Canucks led by Brown and Pennock who are coming off strong WTS debuts in San Diego. Edmontonian, Chantell Widney, (CAN) will look for some hometown advantage in gunning for a national championship.
Trimes see the front duo being reeled in by the chase mid way thru the bike section. Coming down to a 5k footrace Brown and Brault should push an early pace early with Densham. Although the group will be 5 or 6 after 2.5k, on the final lap these three will pull away and see the result as:
1. Brown 2. Densham 3. Brault
Darkhorse: Ohara (JPN), Kretz (CAN)
After a strong Aussie season to start 2013 Kerr (AUS) will be looking to get back on track in Edmonton before a European summer campaign. Last years champ, Kyle Jones is once again a heavy favorite for the W even after early disappointments to start 2013. Fast footed Frenchman Rouault will be another strong contender in Edmonton if he can get off the bike with the leaders. Maloy, Billington and Huffman lead the south of the border front with some solid ITU results this year. With specific regard to the Canadian title, there are a number of other Canucks looking to make their mark in Yorke, McCartney and Hinton.
The swim in this one should be hot. Varga, McCartney and will set a torrid pace in the goose infested waters of Hawlreak park. There will be a break in this swim, the question just remains how many? Trimes sees a group of a half dozen off the front into T1 led by McCartney and caboosed by Jones (CAN). A group of six is quite dangerous and we should see them stay away for the bike. The alliance will turn combative once the flats are slapped on for 5k of full throttle.
Trimes sees the podium as:
1. Jones 2. Kerr 3. Varga
Darkhorse: Walkington (AUS), Ukraines
Start Times (MST) :
Women @ 13:30
Men @ 15:00