A weekend of extreme racing. From the sunshine of the Montreal WTS, to the cold waters of Norway. HUUB was proud to be present at both amazing events. With all of the GB men's team being HUUB athletes, we also supported the previous winner of Norseman, Allan Hovda, looking again to achieve the ultimate ‘Norseman’ title.
While some athletes were looking to go sub 10 for 100m others were looking to go sub 10 for Norseman in Norway.
Montreal World Triathlon Series 2017 Race Roundup
The World Triathlon Series continued it's Canadian escapade in Montreal this weekend. This was the first time that the city had held a WTS event, and as with Edmonton it attracted a great line up of athletes. In Europe there was a sprint European cup in Malmo, Sweden, and Hungry hosted the U23 European Championships. This weekend also featured one of the most notorious and talked about races on the calender... The Norseman, a race on many peoples bucket lists.
The women kicked things off Saturday afternoon in the old town of Montreal, but unlike the previous two WTS events the race would be contested over the Olympic distance. Although Flora was again favourite going into the race, the smaller field and Olympic distance format had the potential to bunch the race together and allow athletes like Gentle (AUS), Zaferes (USA) and Hewitt (NZL) into the race. Zaferes pushed the pace in the swim, but her efforts proved fruitless with many of the main contenders tightly grouped in the leading pack. This group was soon to be whittled down with the efforts of Duffy, Hewitt and Kasper (USA) on the fast, hilly and technical course, the pace was clearly on with several athletes being lapped out on the 4.5k course. The women hit the run and Ashleigh Gentle took the pace out knowing she was on paper the fastest runner over the 10k distance. Gentle managed to increase her margin over the four laps and win her first WTS event by just over 20 seconds. Duffy continued her impressive season finishing in second place with Hewitt completing the podium.
The Mens race followed on the Sunday and again all eyes were on the Spanish trio of Mola, Alarza and Gomez, as well as the usual suspects of Jonny Brownlee (GBR), Richard Murray (RSA) and Blummenfelt (NOR). With a non wetsuit and fast swim it looked like the race could play into the hands of the breakaway, especially with HUUB's own Richard Varga (SVK) leading the charge. As expected Varga lead the swim from nearly start to finish, with only Brownlee swapping the odd turn to push the pace. It was clear the pace was on with the field strung out by the exit of the water and Varga clocking a mightily impressive sub 17-minute non wetsuit swim! Initially a leading quartet of Brownlee, Varga, Royle (AUS) and Kanute (USA) made the break, however three athletes joined them after two laps, including five time world champion Javier Gomez. The group of seven eventually established a gap of just under one minute going onto the run and it seemed it would be yet another battle between long time rivals Brownlee and Gomez. It would take an immense run split from Mola or Murray to claim victory. In the end Gomez prevailed with Brownlee not looking his usual dominant self. Jonny eventually slipped down to fourth with Murray running through to third. Blummenfelt was the only athlete who looked to keep pace with Gomez, but the relentless pace of Spaniard meant the Norwegian had to settle for second, although arguably his best result to date.
The next round of the World Triathlon Series takes place in Stockholm in a few weeks, before the final race of the WTS calendar in Rotterdam.