WTS: Aussies shine in Montreal

Australian talent has shone brightly at the World Triathlon Series in Montreal this morning, with Emma Jackson, Jaz Hedgeland, Matt Hauser, and Jake Birtwhistle all recording Top 10 finishes amongst highly competitive fields.

The Queensland based Jackson and Hedgeland demonstrated skill and talent in Montreal to keep pace with the best of the best and finish 7th and 9th, respectively.

In what is their best result of the 2019 WTS circuit so far, the pair worked together throughout the swim and the bike to head out onto the run in prime position to secure their first Top 10 finish of the series.

In an exciting sprint to the finish, Jackson pipped Italy’s Annamaria Mazzett and Hedgeland in the final stage of the run to take an outstanding 7th in 00:59:38, with Hedgeland running home to a well-earned 9th in 00:59:45.

The impressive results for the Aussie woman firmly stamp their intentions for the coming year, with Jackson overcoming a few tough years of injury to record her strongest WTS result since 2014. 

A difficult swim placed Ashleigh Gentle and Charlotte McShane on the back foot from the outset. The pair spent much of the race doing their best to make up lost ground, coming back to finish an honourable 21st and 23rd, respectively.

Tamsyn Moana-Veale put forward strong swim and bike performances, staying in touch with Jackson and Hedgeland for the better part of the race, before finding herself gapped on a tough run leg to finish 30th. 

American Katie Zaferes was finally able to sprint home in Montreal to claim a historic fourth World Triathlon Series title, cementing her place at the top of the WTS leaderboard and placing her amongst some of the best triathletes in history. 

Much like at WTS Leeds, Zaferes went to head-to-head with Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown for the better part of the run, before finally shaking Taylor-Brown with 500m to go to sprint home to gold. Briton Jess Learmonth secured herself her fourth podium finish with bronze. 

Matt Hauser stepped up to the plate in his first World Triathlon Series appearance for the 2019 season, putting together an outstanding swim, bike and run to finish 7th in 00:54:09.

Backing up his recent World Cup wins at Chengdu and Nur-Sultan, Hauser kept himself within striking distance of leaders Henri Schoeman (RSA), Mario Mola (ESP), Fernando Alarza (ESP) and Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) throughout the entire race.

After emerging from the first transition well in the lead, Hauser held strong on the bike to maintain his spot in the lead pack heading into the final stages of the race, before sprinting home to 7th.

Jake Birtwhistle backed up his debut WTS win in Leeds with a strong performance in Montreal to finish 10th in 00:54:31. Fighting his way back into the race from 32 seconds down at the end of the swim, Birtwhistle put on the chase through the bike and run to mow down the leaders and finish just inside the Top 10.

Brandon Copeland and Matt Roberts fought hard, but struggled to find room amongst the big packs dominating the field in Montreal, finishing 34th and 47th, respectively. Ryan Bailie was unable to finish after crashing on the bike.

In a thrilling sprint finish, Jelle Geens and Mario Mola battled it out for the win the entire way down the home straight. In a game of cat and mouse, it was the Belgian Geens who edged out Series leader Mola with mere metres to the finish line to claim his maiden World Triathlon Series title. Canadian Tyler Mislawchuck had the honour of crossing the finish line for bronze in front of a home crowd.

The World Triathlon Series now turns its focus toward WTS Hamburg next weekend, with athletes racing in both individual events and the Mixed Team Relay World Championships.

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