Ashleigh Gentle broke through for her maiden WTS victory in Montreal on Saturday, defeating regning World Champion Flora Duffy and New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt.

Text By Rob Sheeley | Images By Wagner Araujo/ITU Media

 

Despite not feeling well before the event, Gentle produced the best result of her career to defeat a quality field. The victory was the fruit of plenty of hard labour for the 26-year-old.

“I had so many things on my mind coming into this race,” A highly emotional Gentle said post-race

“I needed to focus on the little things rather than the results, and I did.

“I made it. It has taken me six years to get on top of the WTS podium, six years of up and downs, a few second places and I finally made it.”

American Katie Zaferes made her intention clear early, leading the swim by five seconds. She was followed by a huge pack, which contained over 20 athletes all within eight-seconds of each other.

This allowed a large pack to form up front on the bike, including the likes of cycling powerhouses Flora Duffy and Taylor Knibb.

However, despite many lead changes, the race dynamics did not include the trademark breakaway from Duffy, meaning that the outcome would rely on a 10km footrace to decide the winner.

Gentle was in her element, speeding to the front early and slowly extending her lead en route to carving out a slick 34:39 which sealed the memorable victory.

Duffy was unable to match motors with Gentle on the run, finishing 23-seconds behind the Aussie. However, she was full of praise for Gentle.

“I’m very happy for my second place, but really happy for Ashleigh. I knew this was gonna come at some point.”

Andrea Hewitt’s third showed that she is back to her best and cannot yet be discounted from the World Title chase.

“I’ve been in this city 10 days training and I think that this has helped me a lot today,” She said after securing third place.

“I loved the city and the course, and to be back to an Olympic distance race.”

Duffy remains at the top of the rankings after Montreal with the big mover being Gentle who now sits in second place ahead of Zaferes.

WTS Montreal 2017 Results

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Rob Sheeley is the Race Editor for WITSUP

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