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Bermuda gets ready for the WTS

With defending world champion and recent Commonwealth Games gold medalist Flora Duffy arriving as the pre-race and home-town favourite, there’s a very good chance that all 65,000 people who call Bermuda home are likely to line the course for the ITU’s World Triathlon Series Bermuda in a little over a week.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for Bermudians to watch a reigning world champion on their home soil,” says race organizer Philip Schmidt.

The course seems like it will be perfect for Duffy, too, with 10 brutal trips up the infamous “Corkscrew Hill” followed by a technical descent, which is sure to play into the super-biker’s hands on race day.

Duffy won’t be without some competition on the start line in Bermuda, or motivation. After going down early at a crash-filled day at WTS Abu Dhabi in March, Duffy is looking to get some points on the board as she looks to take the world title for the third straight year. Canada’s Joanna Brown, fresh off her stellar bronze-medal performance at the Commonwealth Games (after breaking her shoulder in a crash in Abu Dhabi), will certainly be one of the many women who will arrive in Bermuda with sights on the title. Brown’s training partner Kirsten Kasper (USA), along with her countrywoman Katie Zaferes, will lead a large American field into the race. The always-strong group from Great Britain will be led by Vicky Holland, the woman Brown outsprinted for that bronze medal.

Joanna Brown won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Delly Carr | ITU


All the usual men’s favourites look to be on hand, too. Mario Mola (ESP) looks to defend his world title after a runner-up finish to South Africa’s Henri Schoemann, the Commonwealth Games champ, at WTS Abu Dhabi. Those two will take on a packed field that includes Olympic silver medalist Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), Richard Murray (RSA), Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk, who is hopefully over the bug that sidelined him for the individual race at the Commonwealth Games.

Age group racing

While the elite race will be a standard-distance affair, age group competitors will have the option of competing in either sprint- or standard-distance races, with relays offered for both distances.

The swim will take place near downtown Hamilton in 21-degree water. That’s followed by a run up a short hill to the transition area in the City Hall parking lot before heading out on the technical and challenging bike course.

“Corkscrew hill is going to be the deciding factor for any of the racers, whether they are elite or age groupers,” says Schmidt of the technical climb that is the main feature of the bike course.

Once finished the bike the athletes head out for the relatively flat, 2.5 km out and back run course along Hamilton’s Front Street.

Living up to Bermuda’s reputation as a fantastic vacation spot, athletes are in for some fun throughout the weekend. Thursday will include a pasta party, kids race and a one-mile “feather race” that’s modeled after the famed underpants run before the Ironman World Championship. Right next to the finish line there will be a beer garden set up to ensure everyone can relax after their big effort in style.

That beer garden will be hopping no matter what happens, but if Duffy is able to take the day, it’s hard to imagine just how loud and boisterous things will be in Bermuda next weekend.