MONTREAL, Québec — Spain’s Mario Mola continued his dominance in the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Series on Sunday, earning his third straight victory and fourth win of the season in the series’ penultimate stop in Montreal. The performance leaves Mola with an 824-point lead on his closest competitor in the overall standings, Jacob Birtwhistle of Australia, ahead of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final set for Sept. 16 in Gold Coast, Australia.
The Olympic-distance course in Montreal featured a 1,500-meter swim off the Jacques Cartier Pier, followed by a 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run through the Old Port of Montreal.
Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) started the race strong, exiting the water second just a few steps behind South Africa’s Henri Schoeman. The two were the first out of transition and onto the bike, but it didn’t take long for most the field catch up and form a large peloton.
Denmark’s Andreas Schilling was the first to go for a breakaway, and he was soon joined by Israel’s Shachar Sagiv and Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt and Casper Stornes. Canadian Charles Paquet bridged up to the front group with about 17k to go on the bike, feeding off the energy of a home-country crowd.
While Sagiv fell off the pace, the rest of the leading four were still together by the end of the bike. Heading onto the run, they had a gap of about a minute on the chase pack, which included all three U.S. men: Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) and Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.)
Mola, Birtwhistle and South Africa’s Richard Murray set off at a blistering pace, dropping sub-5-minute miles to gradually pick off the leaders. Mola passed Blummenfelt to take the lead with about 1k to go, using a 29-minute, 48-second 10k to break the tape with a total time of 1 hour, 47 minutes, 46 seconds. Blummenfelt held onto the silver-medal position to cross the line in 1:48:02, and Birtwhistle ran his way to bronze in 1:48:28.
Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was the top U.S. finisher, taking 21st with a time of 1:50:48. Rider took 23rd in 1:50:57, and Smoragiewicz was 28th in 1:51:37.
Heading into the Grand Final next month, Mola and Birtwhistle are first and second respectively in the overall WTS rankings. France’s Vincent Luis, who did not race Sunday, is in third, followed by Murray and Blummenfelt in fourth and fifth. McElroy is the highest-ranked U.S. athlete in 30th. To view the full 2018 rankings to date, visit wts.triathlon.org/rankings/2018.
For more information and full results from ITU World Triathlon Montreal, visit montreal.triathlon.org.
ITU World Triathlon Montreal
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Mario Mola (ESP), 1:47:46
2. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), 1:48:02
3. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS), 1:48:28
21. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:50:48
23. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 1:50:57
28. Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), 1:51:37
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 events and connects with more than 400,000 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).