ROTTERDAM, NED—Canadian teenager Desirae Ridenour completed a stellar 2017 season with her second-straight top-10 finish at the Junior Women’s Triathlon World Championship race on Friday in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The 17-year-old from Cowichan Bay, B.C., who was sixth at last year’s World Champs, battled the cool conditions to an eighth-place finish this go around with a time of 1:03:02 in the sprint-distance race.
The National Performance Centre athlete came out of the water near the middle of the pack of 70 athletes after a difficult 750-metre wetsuit swim, but dug deep to get back into the top of the pack with a solid 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run.
American Taylor Knibb dominated the race and successfully defend her junior women’s title at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam.
Knibb hammered the pace on the bike where she rode solo for most of the 20-kilometre ride – setting herself up for a runaway victory with a time of 1:01:22.
Kate Waugh, of Great Britain, was second at 1:01:38, while Japan’s Fuka Sega clocked-in at 1:02:05 to secure the bronze medal.
It was a stellar season for the young Ridenour. Building on a podium finish at the Junior Canadian Championships, the B.C. teen rattled off three straight gold-medal performances at major races around the globe. She won the Junior European Cup race in Hungary and the CAMTRI North American Championships in Magog, Que. just two weeks before capturing three more gold medals at the Canada Games in Winnipeg.
The 2017 Canadian junior champion, Kyla Roy of Winnipeg, was the next best Canuck on Friday, finishing in 24th spot. Roy posted a time of 1:04:45. Victoria’s Hannah Henry, who finished second behind Ridenour in two international CAMTRI races this summer, placed 26th at 1:04:59.
Tyler Mislawchuk Leads Canadians in Under-23 Race
Tyler Mislawchuk was the top Canadian in the men’s under-23 race.
Coming out of the 1.5-kilometre swim in 14th place, the 23 year old from Oak Bluff, Man., was part of a small chase pack who caught the lead group of five after the first loop on the tight and technical 40-kilomtre bike course.
A dropped chain dropped the 15th-place finisher at the 2016 Olympics well back into 27th spot when the next generation of elite athletes exited second transition. Mislawchuk maintained his focus, picking up 10 spots on the 10-kilometre run before crossing the finish line.
When all was said and done, the reigning men’s Canadian Champion stopped the clock with a time of 1:54:19.
Stepping up to the next level of elite racing this year, Charles Paquet, of Port Cartier, Que., was the only other Canadian on the under-23 start line. The silver medallist at last year’s world championships posted a time of 1:55:52 for 30th spot, despite skidding into a median on the bike.
After breaking the pack on the final lap of the bike, it was a battle between the French that determined the under-23 men’s title.
Picking up huge ground on the run, it was Raphael Montoya who eventually captured the gold medal with a time of 1:51:28.
Dorian Coninx settled for the silver medal with a time of 1:51:32.
Flying onto the run course, Australia’s Luke Willian was poised to pounce onto the top of the podium where he was in the lead until being tagged with having to serve a 15 second penalty for an irregular transition. Willian rebounded to hold onto the bronze medal with a time of 1:51:48.
The ITU World Triathlon Grand Final continues on Saturday in the Netherlands with the junior men’s, under-23 women’s and elite races.
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Complete Junior Women’s Results:
Complete Under-23 Men’s Results: