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Race between the super-cyclists: Norden tops Duffy and Annett in Ironman VR race

Canada's Jen Annett solidifies her status as one of the top cyclists in the sport, finishing a close third in Ironman's virtual sprint simulation race.

This weekend over 30,000 athletes have signed up for the third Ironman Virtual Racing Series event.

Lisa Norden at the Challenge Daytona press conference in December, 2019. Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade

Three of the sport’s strongest cyclists were part of today’s Ironman VR3 Pro Challenge, taking on two 20 km loops using the Rouvy cycling program. Included in the very international women’s field were Bermuda’s two-time ITU world champion Flora Duffy, considered the strongest cyclist in short-course racing, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden, who won the Swedish national cycling championship last year, Canada’s Jen Annett, who rode a 4:25 bike split at Ironman Texas a few years ago, and Brazil’s Pamella Oliviera, a six-time Ironman 70.3 champ.

Norden’s cycling expertise paid off today as she easily held off Duffy and Annett to take both 20 km efforts, finishing with a total time of 58:24, which was almost three minutes ahead of Duffy. Annett was third in the first 20 km effort, but finished ahead of Duffy in the second 20 km loop, but ended up 34 seconds behind the Bermudan.

1. Lisa Norden SWE 00:29:21 00:29:57 00:58:24
2. Flora Duffy BMU 00:30:11 00:31:03 01:01:14
3. Jen Annett CAN 00:31:21 00:30:27 01:01:48
4. Pâmella Oliviera BRA 00:31:54 00:31:34 01:03:29

Tomorrow’s men’s race will feature an equally as international field – Canadian Cody Beals, Brazil’s Igor Amorelli, South Africa’s Kyle Buckingham and Sweden’s Jesper Svensson.