MONTREAL, Quebec — One week after claiming a national title in the United States, junior triathlete Taylor Knibb finished on the podium with a bronze medal on Sunday in her ITU World Cup debut, while Eric Lagerstrom raced to bronze for his first World Cup podium finish.
Knibb (Washington, D.C.) posted a time of 1:03:44 on the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course. Knibb finished 44 seconds behind race winner Flora Duffy of Bermuda and 20 seconds back from runner-up Ashleigh Gentle of Australia. Both Duffy and Gentle will compete in the Olympic Games triathlon on Aug. 20. Knibb has competed in junior- and senior-level events this season, finishing 11th last month in her ITU World Triathlon Series debut in Hamburg and winning USA Triathlon Junior Elite Nationals last weekend. She is slated to compete in the ITU Junior World Championships next month in Cozumel, Mexico.
Duffy broke away from the field early on the bike, though Knibb was able to connect with her for a portion of the 20k bike leg, allowing the pair to ride together for a portion of the race. Though Duffy made the decision to surge ahead of Knibb before the 5k run, Knibb was able to hold off most of the field to finish on the podium.
“It is my first World Cup, so it is all a bit of a surprise,” Knibb said to ITU media after the race. “I didn’t know that [I was in solidly in podium position] until the finish – I wasn’t looking behind me. Ashleigh’s a tremendous athlete, and they’re all tremendous athletes, so I know they were coming for me.”
Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.) clocked in at 58:47 for his first career ITU World Cup medal. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt topped the podium in 57:29, and Canadian Matthew Sharpe finished in 58:43 for silver, just four seconds ahead of Lagerstrom. Lagerstrom’s previous best effort in an ITU World Cup was 12th last year in Chengdu, China.
William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas) led the men’s field out of the water, and along with Lagerstrom and Hunter Lussi (Kensington, Md.) made up a group of seven riders who were able to maintain a healthy gap on the chasers for the four-lap bike course. Once on to the run, eventual winner Blummenfelt took off, posting the fastest 5k split by more than 30 seconds, but Lagerstrom stayed in podium position, holding off charging athletes from the chase group.
Led by Knibb and Lagerstrom, the U.S. combined for seven top-10 finishes on Sunday, with Lindsey Jerdonek (Cleveland, Ohio), Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) and Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) finishing fifth, seventh and ninth, respectively. In the men’s race, Huffman finished seventh and Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.) was eighth.
2016 Montreal ITU Triathlon World Cup
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women – Complete Results
1. Flora Duffy (BER), 1:03:00
2. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 1:03:24
3. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 1:03:44
5. Lindsey Jerdonek (Cleveland, Ohio), 1:04:24
7. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 1:04:43
9. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 1:05:27
12. Kaitlin Donner (Satellite Beach, Fla.), 1:05:56
13. Erin Jones (Hood River, Ore.), 1:06:11
14. Erin Dolan (Bentonville, Ark.), 1:06:17
17. Jessica Broderick (Boulder, Colo.), 1:06:32
23. Sarah Alexander (South Bend, Ind.), 1:07:55
26. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), 1:08:59
31. Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.), 1:10:48
Elite Men – Complete Results
1. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), 57:29
2. Matthew Sharpe (CAN), 58:43
3. Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.), 58:47
7. William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), 59:12
8. Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), 59:16
16. Matthew McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 59:53
18. Hunter Lussi (Kensington, Md.), 1:00:09
20. Jason West (State College, Pa.), 1:00:16
31. Robby Webster (Seattle, Wash.), 1:02:28
33. Josh Izewski (Phoenix, Ariz.), 1:03:15
39. Andrew Roos (Stanford, Calif.), 1:05:15
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).