USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook: Montreal podiums and cancellations and Kanute bronzed in Roth
by USA Triathlon
The first race week of the official summer season was upon us. The solstice arrived last week and with it, came not only the heat weather wise, but the BURNING HEAT of triathlon power as we saw some performances from athletes over the weekend that were too hot to touch!
So now that we are all cooled off, let's get into it!
2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Montreal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Whether we want to believe it or not, we all apparently blinked and the 2023 WTCS season is already over halfway done. Montreal was the mid-point on the circuit and the only North American race on the calendar.
Taylor Spivey was sitting in the pilot seat, wearing the No. 1 as the current overall rankings leader. As well as Taylor Knibb came back to the Series and Katie Zaferes luckily snagged a last minute spot on the starting list.
Alls to say, the U.S. women were ready to take on the neighboring country by storm...and storm the blue carpet they did!
Summer Rappaport earned the bronze medal in Montreal. A huge feat for the Thornton, Colorado resident as her last WTCS podium was almost two years ago.
But it became her seventh overall WTCS medal in her career and it was earned from a great performance from start to finish. She was near the top in the swim, joined a successful breakaway with Knibb on the bike and then consistently held her pace in the run to cross that finish line third.
The wow factor continued for the U.S. women as Katie Zaferes came in to finish fifth in the race. Which if you have been following Zaferes, you know she is in her Super Mom era, getting back into the ring after taking a season off to give birth and focus on her new son. Montreal was the first top-five WTCS finish since being back and clearly won't be the last!
Knibb was next to cross the line following Zaferes. Her race took an interesting start as she had to serve a 10-second penalty after the swim due to missing the athlete briefing the day before.
However, she set herself up perfectly to do so and had a super strong swim, where the 10 seconds really did no damage. She still had enough time to get into the front bike pack and eventually pull ahead to drive a two-person breakaway with Rappaport.
A note on Knibb if you haven't heard the news. If she couldn't get more impressive, on top of her triathlon career she recently joined the Team Trek Segafredo Pro Cycling team. Last week she competed in the U.S. Pro Time Trial Nationals in Tennessee and placed fourth!
The fourth woman to finish in the top ten in Montreal was Spivey. She finished 9th overall, but it was enough for her to keep her No. 1 Series rankings. She still leads the leaderboard!
The success didn't stop there either as Kirsten Kasper and Erika Ackerlund also finished in the top 25, showcasing that the U.S. women are a powerhouse this year!
The one bummer part of the weekend in Montreal however was that we did not get to see a mixed relay event. Scheduled for Sunday, the race was ultimately cancelled due to the smog happening from the Canadian wildfires that have been happening the past couple weeks. The U.S. has made podium the last two years in Montreal for the relay, so it's sad we didn't get a chance to go for a threepeat!
Challenge Roth is one of the biggest triathlons in the world. This weekend was no different. Records were made and broken in the bike and run and then we saw USA's Ben Kanute make the men's podium with a bronze medal finish.
It was a good weekend of racing. Happy Summer USA Triathlon!