ANTWERP, Aut.—Canada’s Amelie Kretz took a big step forward in her pursuit of climbing back onto the World Cup podium with a solid eighth-place finish in Antwerp, Austria on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Olympian was determined throughout all three disciplines of the World Cup triathlon sprint race that rolled out through the trendy village of Eilandje, where she clocked an eighth-place time of 1:06:35.
“Things are heading in the right direction. I feel like every race is getting better and better. I raced with confidence today and that is something I haven’t done in a long time,” said Kretz, whose last World Cup podium came in 2015, and has been enjoying a strong start to the season.
“We are definitely building through the season. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we are slowly but surely getting there. I”ve been more consistent this year than the last four years. I’m healthy and very happy with my set up at home with my coach Alex Sereno and it’s starting to show.”
The Blainville, Quebecer took advantage of her strengths on a course that took 45 elite triathlon women for a 750-metre swim in the marina of Antwerp, followed by a 20-kilometre ride on the bike through the town’s Port House area, and a five-kiloemtre run in the shadows of the spectacular Museum Aan de Stroom.
Coming out of the water in 10th spot, Kretz put the pedal down and jumped to the front of the pack where she took control and avoided trouble on the gnarly bike course.
“The strategy today was to be smart. I wanted to fight for position in the swim, get out at the front and stay at the front on the bike through the technical sections,” said Kretz. “I love the course here and I had a lot of fun out there today.”
Having raced one week ago for Team Canada in the World Triathlon Series mixed relay in Nottingham, Kretz and her coach decided last minute to add Antwerp to her schedule to cap off a hard week of training.
“I could definitely feel a bit of fatigue on the last half of the run, but I’m not sure if it was because of the training or it was just a very demanding course,” added Kretz. “The run was a bit rough at the start. I had good legs mid-run, but kind of settled into that group too fast where the pace was maybe a bit too comfortable, and I should’ve made the move up.
“I feel like I wasn’t far off today for challenging for the podium. We need to keep doing what we are doing.”
Two German athletes pulled away from the field in the run to grab the top-two spots on the podium. Lisa Tertsch claimed the gold with a time of 1:05:26. Laura Lindemann finished 18 seconds back of her teammate at 1:05:44. Ainsley Thorpe, of New Zealand, ran to the final spot on the podium with a time of 1:06:08.
Victoria’s Hannah Henry was the only other Canadian woman to start, but did not finish.
Two Canadians finished in the top-20 of the men’s race. Mike Lori, of Tecumseh, Ont., placed 18th at 1:00:32, while Martin Sobey, of Charlottetown, P.E.I., clocked a 20th-place time of 1:00:32. John Rasmussen, of Ancaster, Ont., placed 40th (1:04:22). Taylor Forbes did not finish.
The men’s podium saw Tayler Reid, of New Zealand on top after stopping the clock at 59:23. Sweden’s Gabriel Sandor crossed the line two seconds behind to claim the silver medal with a time of 59:25, while Chile’s Diego Moya won the bronze medal with a time of 59:30.
Complete Women’s Results: https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2019_antwerp_itu_triathlon_world_cup/336974
Complete Men’s Results:
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