MONTREAL— Quebecers Mathis Beaulieu and Maïra Carreau swam, biked and ran to the top of the podium at the Quebec Grand Prix to kick off a day of triathlon madness in Montreal on Saturday.
The 18-year-old Beaulieu had complete control of the men’s sprint race where he completed the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run course in a time of 54:29.0.
“It’s really nice to win at home. I’m very happy,” said Beaulieu who rattled off seven straight victories in 2022 including the Senior Canadian Championship title.
The rising triathlon star from Quebec City came out of Alexandra Basin in Montreal’s Old Port in second spot behind Nicolas Harvey. As light rain drizzled over Canada’s cultural capital, a four-pack of young Canucks formed at the front of the bike while taking five laps through the slick streets.
“It was pretty slippery on the bike course with many crashes. I didn’t have a strategy today. I may have done hings different if there weren’t so many crashes, but it was good to break away on the bike. With lots of turn arounds, it was easy to sit back in the three or four (position in the pack).
“I love this course. It is awesome.”
His passion for racing on home turf in front of the Quebec faithful was on full display.
Beaulieu had good energy while dismounting from his bike, tucked in the lead group who trotted into second transition together.
William Nolet led the best juniors from across the country onto the five-kilometre run course. Running comfortably out of the stadium just seconds behind Nolet, he wasted no time taking over the lead – one that he never relinquished. Beaulieu opened a 17 second lead on the field heading onto the bell lap, and cruised to another national title.
Alexandra Leblanc (Mont-Royal, Que.) crossed the line in second spot at 55:10.0. Quebec City’s William Nolet hung on for the bronze medal with a time of 55:34.0.
Léandre Binnette (Saint-Christophe D’Arthabaska, Que.) was second in the junior men’s standings at 55:49.0. Blake Harris, of Sanford, Man. clocked-in at 56:01.0 for the third best junior men’s time of the day.
As the dust settled on the junior men’s sprint, it was Maïra Carreau putting on a show of her own in the women’s Grand Prix race where she took top spot on the podium with a time of 1:00:13.0.
With many of the nation’s top juniors vying for a national title in the field behid her, the 20-year-old Carreau raced calm and controlled at the front, conserving her energy for a foot race to the finish.
“I’m pretty happy. I know the form was there but I think it has been like four weeks that I’m racing back-to-back so I was just hoping for the best, hoping the winter training would pay off,” said Carreau. “I knew I had a great swim and I just wanted to see who was pulling on the bike.”
Carreau settled into a group of six of the nation’s best developing triathletes for a technical five-lap spin through the historic streets of Montreal. Each working together and taking their turns pulling at the front.
“The girls support was super good, pushing and the second half was super fast,” added Carreau.
Carreau jumped into the front of the group to take the lead into T2 and charged out onto the run course where she continued to separate herself from the fileld with each step through the five-kilometre trek from the Grand Quai to de la Commune Street and McGill streets and back to the Grand Quai.
“On the run, I did what I always do. Start on my pace, and push through. I’m pretty happy overall. Hopefully this will pay off for rest of season.”
Carreau’s teammate on the National Development Team, Kamille Larocque, took second place in the Grand Prix. The 23-year-old from Gatineau, Que. finished 46 seconds off the leading pace, clocking a time of 1:00:59.0.
Vancouver’s Sidney Clement locked up her first Junior National Championship title after crossing the line in third place overall with a time of 1:01:24.0.
“It was such a strong group of girls, so I‘m really happy and hope this will help me get ready for World Championships coming up,” said the 18-year-old Clement. “The goal was to have a fast swim, hold onto the older girls on the bike and try not to get dropped, then run hard. I’m really happy with it.”
Regina’s Molly Lakustiak was the second best junior woman at 1:02:31.0. Béatrice Normand, of Coteau-du-Lac, Que., placed third in the Junior National standings at 1:02:53.0.
For complete race and schedule details on the Groupe Copley World Triathlon https://montreal.triathlon.org/
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