ASHLEIGH Gentle has overcome illness to win her first World Triathlon Series race.
Gentle's win ended Flora Duffy's four-win streak at the WTS and seemed to be set up early on as a big group exited the water together that included Gentle and Canada's Joanna Brown, two women who typically struggle to make that lead pack, along with numerous players we expect to see at the front of the race through the swim and early in the bike - Katie Zaferes, Taylor Knibb, Andrea Hewitt, Kirsten Kasper and Rachel Klamer. Duffy had won the four previous events to open up a sizeable lead. The bunch stayed together throughout the ride and, once she realized she wouldn't be able to get clear, Duffy resigned herself to having to see just how much her running has improved this year.
"I loved the city and the course, and to be back to an Olympic distance race".
During the 41.5km, the leading pack gave relays and turned up in front, trying to save some energy for the run.
It was just the break Gentle needed to capitalise on with the belief she had the run legs to hold off any challengers.
It is a breakthrough victory for the 2010 junior world champion and who has finished second five times in her elite career. Duffy is on 3,940 while Gentle moves up from fourth to second overall on 3,286.
"I arrived into Montreal feeling sick and didn't know whether I would be able to race - I only made my decision this morning, hours before the start", revealed Gentle. I can't believe it. New Zealands Andrea Hewitt, victor of the first two events of the series, came third in 1:59:48.
In a solid day for the Aussies Charlotte McShane hung on for 10th in 2:01.48, followed by Backhouse 11th (2:02.12), Emma Jeffcoat 17th (2:06.26) and Van Coevorden 19th (2:07.09).