TRIATHLON Preview: World Series races too close to call in Montreal

The seventh of eight stops on the International Triathlon Union’s World Series for 2018 comes in Montreal, Quebec (CAN), with a tight battle for the seasonal title in the women’s division and a near-runaway in the men. The standings right now:

1. 4,850 Mario Mola (ESP)
2. 3,810 Vincent Luis (FRA)
3. 3,245 Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS)
4. 3,085 Richard Murray (RSA)
5. 2.947 Fernando Alarza (ESP)

1. 4,170 Katie Zaferes (USA)
2. 3,579 Vicky Holland (GBR)
3. 3,098 Rachel Klamer (NED)
4. 2,872 Kirsten Kasper (USA)
5. 2,658 Jessica Learmonth (GBR)

Although both Mola and Zaferes appear to have large leads, the winner of this week’s race will score 1,000 points (and less for each place below) and then 1,250 points for a win at the Grand Final at Gold Coast (AUS) in mid-September. So, there’s a long way to go.

Mola has dominated this season, winning three of the six stops so far and placing second twice for five medals in six races. The other races have been won by Henri Schoeman (RSA), Norway’s Casper Stornes and Murray.

Zaferes hasn’t won any races so far, but has been a consistent high place. She’s been second once and third three times out of six races and will need to maintain that pace to stay ahead of Holland and Klamer. Holland has won two of the last three races – in Leeds (GBR) and Edmonton (CAN) – and Klamer won the season opener in Abu Dhabi.

Actually, that Zaferes is the series leader is pretty remarkable since she didn’t finish in the season opener; she finished sixth in the last race in Edmonton. She’s no stranger to the seasonal podium, having finished third in 2017.

The courses are for the Olympic distance of 1.5 km swim (two laps), 40 km bike (10 laps) and 10 km run (four laps). The women’s race is scheduled for Saturday and the men on Sunday. Look for results from Montreal here.