Ben Kanute Leads U.S. Men at ITU World Triathlon Montreal With Top-25 Finish

By USA Triathlon | Aug. 06, 2017, 5:28 p.m. (ET)

MONTREAL — Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.) led all U.S. finishers at ITU World Triathlon Montreal on Sunday, recording his fourth top-25 finish in a World Triathlon Series race this season. 

The course in Montreal, a first-time WTS host city, featured an Olympic-distance 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. Spain’s Javier Gomez Noya ran away with the win to become the oldest man ever to win a WTS race at age 34. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt took silver for a career-best WTS finish, and South Africa’s Richard Murray took bronze in his third WTS podium performance of the season.

Kanute got off to a great start in the swim, coming out of the water in third behind renowned triathlon swimmer Richard Varga of Slovakia and two-time Olympic medalist Jonny Brownlee of Great Britain. 

Varga, Brownlee, Kanute, Aaron Royle of Australia and Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) were the top-five out of the water, and they started the bike in a breakaway group of five. 

Gomez and Blummenfelt made up ground quickly, growing the group of leaders from five to seven. Spain’s Mario Mola was hammering hard in the chase group to try to bridge the gap — but by the end of the nine-lap course, the leaders had an advantage of a minute on the rest of the field.

Standout runners Gomez, Blummenfelt and Brownlee pulled away on the run almost immediately, with Gomez gradually building a gap on the other two over the four-lap course. Back in the chase group, Mola and Murray were determined to narrow the gap. With six kilometers left to run, they had reeled in Rider, Kanute, Varga and Royle, and were on the hunt for a podium finish. 

Mola’s hard effort on the bike ultimately caught up to him as he fell back to 14th place, but Murray found the energy to pass Brownlee in the final lap. Gomez ran strong to the finish, breaking the tape with a final time of 1 hour, 47 minutes, 50 seconds. Blummenfelt held onto the silver-medal position with a time of 1:48:05, and Murray used a race-leading 30:51 run split to take bronze in 1:48:42.

After a strong effort on the run, Kanute ultimately placed 23rd with a time of 1:50:27. Rider crossed the line 34th in 1:52:52, and Hunter Lussi (Gibson Island, Md.) rounded out the U.S. finishers in 37th (1:53:44). 

Mola managed to retain his No. 1 spot in the WTS season rankings with 3,664 points. With his victory, Gomez moved into the No. 2 spot with 3,361 points, while Murray is now third in the standings with 3,197 points. Visit wts.triathlon.org/rankings/2017 for the complete season rankings to date.

The WTS season makes its next stop in Stockholm on Aug. 26, the final race before the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Sept. 16.

ITU World Triathlon Montreal 
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Complete Men’s Results

Elite Men

1. Javier Gomez Noya (ESP), 1:47:50
2. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), 1:48:05
3. Richard Murray (RSA), 1:48:42

U.S. Finishers
23. Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.), 1:50:27
34. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 1:52:52
37. Hunter Lussi (Gibson Island, Md.), 1:53:44
Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), DNF
Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.), DNF
Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), DNF

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).