Stanton-Stock takes bronze as Arena Games returns


The 2023 Arena Games Triathlon Series powered by Zwift kicked off in Montreal this weekend, with British youngster Jack Stanton-Stock seizing the opportunity to pick up a podium place.

In the three-stage event in Montreal, Britain were represented by Stanton-Stock, Daniel Dixon and Chris Perham, with Dixon finishing fifth and Perham nineth. The big news in the build-up to the event was Lionel Sanders racing in his home country. The action saw a mass start 200m pool swim, before a 4km Zwift bike leg and a 1km run on an elliptical running machine.

Stage two would reverse that order, beginning with a 1km mass start run before a 4km bike and a 200m swim. The concluding Stage three would open with a pursuit start 200m swim, before the 4km bike leg and final 1km run to crown the overall winner.

The mass start in the 200m pool swim was led by Aurelien Raphael of France, who finished third in the 2022 Arena Games Triathlon World Championship Series. He was first out of the pool narrowly ahead of McQueen (USA), Schoeman (RSA) and Dixon. Sanders would exit 30 seconds down.

The 4km Zwift bike leg saw McQueen push the pace at the front, with none of the chasing pack able to utilise the benefits of drafting in a change from the 2022 Arena Games. Raphael, Schoeman and Dixon regularly swapped places behind McQueen, but the American was in command and even Sanders, travelling at 47km/h, wasn’t eating into McQueen’s advantage by much.

McQueen’s lead was eight seconds at the start of the 1km run on self-powered treadmills, with Schoeman, Dixon and 20-year-old Stanton-Stock, his closest challengers.

Stanton-Stock would power to the front by the end of the 1km leg, edging a shocked McQueen by almost two seconds to lay down a marker for the final two stages by producing one of the fastest Arena Games run legs in history (and in an opening stage, too). Schoeman and Dixon were a handful of seconds behind, with Sanders 24 seconds back.

The second stage flipped the usual triathlon order, beginning with a mass start 1km run on the treadmills. Stanton-Stock was now a marked man, but his long, loping stride had created a five second lead within 400m. Finishing the run ten second ahead of Schoeman with McQueen 15 seconds and Sanders 18 seconds adrift.

The 4km bike saw McQueen move back into contention, moving into second by the halfway stage to reduce Stanton-Stock’s lead by eight seconds. Sanders was flying as well, blasting his way into fourth by halfway, then third 500m later as the crowd noise intensified.

With 1km to go, Sanders, complete with gritted teeth and game-face on display, every sinew straining, had moved to second. The pass to first came with 200m to go to ecstatic cheers. His time for 4km was five minutes and six seconds, a course record once again.

McQueen and Stanton-Stock were involved in a bit of jostling to get into the water ahead of each other, yet both managed to dive ahead of Sanders, with Schoeman also overtaking the Canadian almost instantly.

At the finale, McQueen was first just two seconds ahead of Schoeman, with a goggle-less Stanton-Stock 11 seconds behind and Sanders’ heroics seeing him just 20 seconds in arrears. This set it up with all to play for in the final stage.

“This is where champions are made,” said McQueen ahead of the deciding leg. The pursuit start 200m swim witnessed the American enter the water first just ahead of Schoeman and Stanton-Stock.

McQueen’s advantage was four seconds over Schoeman at the end of the four lengths, Stanton-Stock 24 seconds down, and Sanders on the bike a minute down.

The 4km bike leg saw McQueen’s advantage being ten seconds at the halfway stage over Schoeman, with training buddies Stanton-Stock and Dixon 30 seconds behind. Into T2 and McQueen was 13 seconds ahead of Schoeman, with the chasers all over 30 seconds back. It would be America versus South Africa for the title.

Schoeman had chipped three seconds away at McQueen’s lead by the 500m mark on the run, but it wouldn’t be enough, with McQueen striding to victory seven seconds ahead of Schoeman and 22 seconds ahead of Stanton-Stock, with Raphael 27 seconds back and Dixon 32 seconds behind in fifth.

View the full results:

The Arena Games returns on 12 March in Sursee, Switzerland before heading to the Aquatics Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the Grand Final on Saturday 8 April.

Thanks to our Partners

Join Us

And enjoy insurance benefits, race licensing and more...