BRIDGETOWN, Barbados—John Rasmussen and Severine Bouchez put in a hard effort to lead the Canadian charge with fourth and fifth place finishes respectively at the CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup race in Barbados on Sunday.
Rasmussen, of Ancaster, Ont., was in the middle of a six-pack that came out of the warm waters of the 750-metre swim in Freshwater Bay sixth that posted a time of 9:35. Wasting no time bridge bridging the gap into a large lead group in the four laps on the 20-kilometre bike course, the 25 year old was not able to match strides with the frontrunners in a hot five-kilometre run, forcing him to settle for fourth place at 58:19.
“I am really proud with the way I executed the race! This entire year I’ve been able to deliver consistently strong performances in competitive fields and today I really wanted to see what I was capable of. I pushed the pace from the start in the water and ended up in a two man breakaway with Edson Gomez,” said Rasmussen. “I held the lead until the final two kilometres to the finish line, and battled for third right up to the finish. The heat really got the best of me today, but I put myself on the edge and just missed capturing the podium. I know how close I am, and am excited to put together a big training block in May in preparation for the National Championships in Ottawa!”
Rasmussen missed the podium by seven seconds. Mexico’s Cesar Saracho ran away from the pack to win the men’s race with a time of 57:55. Columbia’s Brian Moya handily secured the silver medal at 58:04, while Brazil’s Matheus Diniz pulled away from Rasmussen to claim the bronze at 58:12.
Hamilton’s Taylor Forbes was the only other Canadian male to secure a spot in the top-10. Forbes clocked a 10th-place time of 59:09.
Meanwhile rising star – Severine Bouchez – accomplished her goal of a top-five before heading onto the beach start for the women’s race.
The Quebecer battled through the high heat and windy conditions to complete the sprint distance race with a combined time of 1:03:39 and post her best ever result in fifth place.
“I’m really happy with this result and that I was able to get in the top-five,” said Bouchez.
“I didn’t have the best swim start and got stuck in the back so I had to work hard to make my way to the front. I was happy I was able to get out of the water with the first pack.”
Bouchez was part of a large group that charged onto the beaches of Barbados spectacular west coast shoreline after a 10:17 750-metre swim time.
“The girls didn’t work too hard on the bike so we weren’t going too fast. I broke away on the hill in each of the five laps, but nobody came with me, so I was alone against the headwinds and the pack always caught up with me.”
The high heat played mind games with the 20-woman field as foot hit the pavement, but Bouchez remained patient and put down a steady five-kilometre run pace.
“I was a little afraid of the heat so I tried not to go too fast at the start of the run,” added Bouchez. “Others were slowing down, but I kept my pace and was able to catch a few girls. I’m really happy with how the season has started with this result. It is my best finish and I’m confident I will continue to progress during the season.”
Lindsey Jerdonek, of the United States, punched the clock at 1:02:52 to win the gold medal. Two Mexican athletes grabbed the final two spots on the podium. Vanesa De La Torre was second at 1:03:00, while Adriana Barraza finished 23 seconds back in third at 1:03:23.
Canada’s Emy Legault and Elisabeth Boutin also finished in the top-10. Legault, of Ile Perrot, Que., finished eighth with a time of 1:04:19. Montreal’s Boutin finished behind her teammate in ninth at 1:04:32.
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CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon Elite Results: http://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2017_bridgetown_camtri_sprint_triathlon_american_cup