The Canadian tour of the 2017 World Triathlon Series (WTS) continues as the Elites line up for the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Montreal to face off for the seventh time.
After battling the Sprint Distance course in Edmonton, Canada last weekend, athletes traveled east to Quebec to compete in the debut WTS race held in Montreal.
The women’s field has really been heating up as the number one position in the overall WTS rankings has changed almost every race, making the battle for the World Title a close and exciting one.
For the first time this season, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy will line up wearing the golden swim cap. Duffy has been unstoppable this season, just winning her fourth consecutive WTS race last weekend in Edmonton. However, not only is she winning, she is dominating. The closest winning margin she has won by is 31 seconds, which was in Hamburg. Otherwise Duffy’s victories have been done by over a minute margin, meaning that she in untouchable on her way to the top of the podium.
Another advantage for Duffy this weekend is that she won at the Montreal venue last year when it was a World Cup.
Two Americans have been in the forefront this season, exchanging turns at the top of the leaderboard. Katie Zaferes and Kirsten Kasper have been huge threats to the WTS as they have been two of the most consistent racers in the field this year. Zaferes just earned the bronze medal in Edmonton that she added to her collect after also earning the silver in Yokohama. She has not won gold yet however, and since she is only 8 points behind Duffy in the rankings, she is very much alive in the World Title chance. While Kasper is currently third in the rankings, she does not have a chance to become the leader again directly after Montreal. But that does not mean she is out of the running. She has her five races to count towards the rankings, and since her worst finish is a ninth place, she can replace that this weekend with a better finish.
The other woman largely in Title contention is Aussie Ashleigh Gentle. She has only raced four times this season, but has earned the silver in two of them. She also did not race in Edmonton, so she has the fresher legs to make an impact this Saturday. Since Montreal will be her fifth race to be counted towards her overall points tally, if she gets the gold or silver and Duffy or Zaferes do not finish, she would move into the leader position. Which could easily be done since Gentle earned the silver in Montreal last year in the world cup, so she has the slight advantage of past venue success.