USA women sweep World Triathlon Edmonton podium, Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) back on top

By International Triathlon Union

In the final World Triathlon Series before the World Champions are named, the US women completed a clean sweep of the ITU World Triathlon Series podium when Summer Cook, Sarah True & Katie Zaferes went 1-2-3 at World Triathlon Edmonton. In the men's race, Rio Olympic silver medallist, Jonathan Brownlee, won the sprint distance race, putting him back on top of a World Triathlon Series race for the first time in more than a year.The win also saw him jump to within 235 points of Columbia Threadneedle Series rankings leader Mario Mola in the hunt for the World Championship title, which will be decided in Cozumel in two weeks.

Women's Review
For the third time in history, the US women completed a clean sweep of the ITU World Triathlon Series podium when Summer Cook, Sarah True & Katie Zaferes went 1-2-3 at World Triathlon Edmonton. It was the first time Cook made it to the WTS podium, which she did with a smoking & strategic run.
The American team shone from start to finish in Edmonton on Sunday over the sprint distance course, with five of the top 10 women out of the swim coming from the US team. While it was Jessica Learmonth (GBR) who took an early lead on the one-lap, 750m swim, with Flora Duffy (BER) tucked right behind her, the group largely hailed from the US with Tylor Spivey, Kirsten Kasper, Cook, True, and Zaferes in the mix.

Midway through the bike, the chase, which included Great Britain pre-race favorites Vicky Holland, Non Stanford, and Jodie Stimpson, chipped four seconds off the gap to pull within 26 seconds. However, the work on the second lap went unnoticed as the leaders gained it back on the next lap for a 31-second advantage onto the bell lap.

A slow transition saw Duffy suffer a five-second deficit out of T2 while Kasper capitalized on the opportunity to run out in the top position. But it was her teammate True that gunned it early on the three-lap 5km run. Desperate to turn her 2015 Edmonton silver into gold, Duffy did early work to catch up to the American women.

They ran as a trio for one of the laps before True took off, dropping Duffy and the rest of the competition. However, a surge from Cook, who had struggled to stay in the lead group on the bike, saw her run the field down late in the run. As she passed Zaferes, then Duffy, she had only to pick off True, which she did in the final 500 meters. True held strong in second to redeem a disappointing performance at the Olympics, where she was forced to withdrawal.

Behind her, Zaferes found some final speed to run down Duffy for bronze, meaning Duffy just missed the podium, keeping all of the medal hardware in Team USA’s name. Apart from the US having swept the podium twice before, only Australia has swept the WTS podium previously.

Fourth was enough for Duffy to hang onto her position as the leader in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, but sets the stage for a tough battle on who will be the 2016 ITU World Champion in Cozumel at the Grand Final in two weeks’ time.

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2016  World Triathlon Edmonton  
750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

1. Summer Cook                           USA00:56:49
2. Sarah True                                USA00:56:52
3. Katie Zaferes                            USA00:56:56
4. Flora Duffy                                BER00:57:10
5. Vicky Holland                            GBR00:57:15
6. Kirsten Kasper                          USA00:57:19
7. Non Stanford                            GBR00:57:30
8. Emma Jackson                         AUS00:57:36
9. Gillian Sanders                         RSA00:57:37
10. Jolanda Annen                       SUI00:57:41

Columbia Treadneedle Rankings

1. Flora Duffy                              BER3491
2. Gwen Jorgensen                    USA3325
3. Jodie Stimpson                       GBR3146
4. Katie Zaferes                          USA2965
5. Andrea Hewitt                         NZL2877
6. Ai Ueda                                 JPN2736
7. Helen Jenkins                       GBR2459
8. Vicky Holland                        GBR2445
9. Rachel Klamer                      NED2301
10. Ashleigh Gentle                  AUS2229
Men's Review
Two-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee returned to the ITU World Triathlon Series podium for the first time in more than a year when he won World Triathlon Edmonton over a sprint distance course on Sunday.

In the final race before the Grand Final, the win pulled him within 235 points of Edmonton silver medallist Mario Mola in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, meaning the battle for the world title will be furious in Cozumel in two weeks’ time.

Despite battling illness before Edmonton, Richard Murray managed to hang tough the entire race for bronze.

“It hasn’t really changed much, it’s all about Mario in Cozumel now,” Brownlee said of how his finish affect the hunt for a World Championship title. “It’s a good result, but it’s all up to Cozumel. Hopefully he’ll (Alistair) help on the swim and bike, we’ll see what kind of shape he’s in. But ya it’ll make a big difference.”

Richard Varga kicked off the day with a splash, leaving the competition in his wake when he secured a sizeable lead out of the one-lap 750m swim. Training partner Jonathan Brownlee followed Varga out of the water next, along with Aaron Royle (AUS), Matthew Sharpe (CAN) and Matthew Roberts (AUS).
But it was only Varga, Brownlee and Royle that blasted through the first transition in top form, dropping Sharpe and Roberts for an early break on the four-lap 20km bike.

Behind them, Murray made it out of T1 in fourth position 20 seconds back, while Columbia Threadneedle rankings leader Mario Mola suffered a 40-second deficit out of the swim. Although the chase inched within six seconds of the leading trio into T2, a slow transition from Mola meant Brownlee had the opportunity to jut out ahead on the first of three run legs. He quickly put 10 seconds between himself & the chase.

It was a pivotal point in the race, as Brownlee blasted away, and never slowed down. Although Mola pulled himself back into second position by the second lap, it wasn’t enough to shut Brownlee down, as the Olympic silver medallist increased his lead to 18 seconds onto the bell lap. From there, it was Brownlee’s race to win, which he did by 16 seconds. Behind him, training teammates Murray and Mola went shoulder to shoulder until Mola unleashed his speed on the last half of the last lap. Murray, who was sick with flu entering Edmonton, took bronze.

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2016  World Triathlon Edmonton
750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

1. Jonathan Brownlee                        GBR00:51:39
2. Mario Mola                                     ESP00:51:56
3. Richard Murray                              RSA00:52:01
4. Grant Sheldon                               GBR00:52:09
5. Thomas Bishop                             GBR00:52:10
6. Steffen Justus                               GER00:52:15
7. Adam Bowden                              GBR00:52:19
8. Jonathan Zipf                               GER00:52:22
9. Shachar SagivI                             SR00:52:23
10. Joao Pereira                              POR00:52:28

Full results here

Columbia Treadneedle Rankings

1. Mario Mola                                   ESP3940
2. Jonathan Brownlee                      GBR3705
3. Fernando Alarza                          ESP3443
4. Pierre Le Corre                            FRA2693
5. Jacob Birtwhistle                          AUS2165
6. Adam Bowden                             GBR2105
7. Ryan Bailie                                  AUS2079
8. Crisanto Grajales                        MEX2070
9. Richard Murray                           RSA2025
10. Kristian Blummenfelt                 NOR1970

Full rankings here
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