Duffy dominates in Bermuda again! Takes WTCS Bermuda over Knibb by 98 seconds
Local hero thrills the hometown crowd with an incredible performance.
It’s hard to imagine just how much pressure there would have been on Flora Duffy (seen above defending her Commonwealth Games title earlier this year) at this weekend’s World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Bermuda – she’s the only person from her country to ever win Olympic gold and pretty much every one of the country’s 64,000 residents would have been on hand to watch her compete. She won the event with a spirited breakaway win, and thrilled the crowd with a similar strategy today. The win today puts Duffy in control of her destiny as she strives for a fourth world championship title – after today’s win, a win at the Grand Final in Abu Dhabi in three weeks will get her the title over series leader Georgia Taylor-Brown.
Duffy sets the stage early
Italy’s Bianca Seregni led the way through the swim, but had Duffy on her feet the entire way, and the Bermudan pushed at the end and almost beat the Italian into T1. They were a few seconds clear of American Summer Rappaport and Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell, but Duffy blasted out of transition so fast that she found herself clear almost as soon as the bike started.
Behind Duffy a chase group quickly formed that included Coldwell, American Taylor Spivey, Great Britain’s Beth Potter, Netherland’s Maya Kingma, Germany’s Laura Lindemann, Brazil’s Vittoria Lopes, Germany’s Lena Meissner, Seregni, Australia’s Emma Jackson and Rappaport. American Taylor Knibb, trailed by 32 seconds after the swim, and began a steady pushed to the chase group.
On the steep climb up Flora Duffy Hill in the second lap, Kingma blasted away from the rest of the chasers and joined Duffy up at the front of the race. The two continued a steady push at the front and by the end of the fourth lap, halfway through the bike, they were about 45 seconds ahead of the chase group.
Knibb managed to work her way to the chase group by the end of the fourth lap, then made her move up Flora Duffy Hill to break clear and start to chase the two leaders all by herself. Her charge to the front stalled there, though – while she pulled well clear of the chasers, she was never able to bridge up to Duffy and Kingma.
By the end of the bike Duffy and Kingma were 44 seconds clear of Knibb, with the chasers almost two minutes behind the leaders – in that group were Spivey, Potter, Lindemann, Coldwell, Meissner, Jackson and Seregni.
Duffy puts it away on the run
Duffy made quick work of getting clear on the run, and by the end of the first of four laps of the 10 km run she was 43 seconds ahead of Kingma, who was struggling to hold things together on the run after going over on her ankle earlier this week. Knibb had also lost time – she was 1:12 behind the Bermudan through 2.5 km. Behind them it was Potter who was pushing hard to try and get to the podium – the 2016 Olympian (she ran the 10,000 m for Great Britain) was all alone in fourth, 1:52 behind Duffy. Knibb managed to catch Kingma before the end of the second lap, leaving Potter to chase for the final spot on the podium over the final 5 km of the run. Duffy continued to power clear of the rest of the women in the field through the end of the second lap, continuing to open up time on Knibb (1:22), Kingma (1:32) and Potter (1:52).
In the end Duffy was able to cruise through the final few hundred metres of the run, celebrating with the crowd, and would take the day in 2:01:26, 1:38 ahead of Knibb. Third want to Potter, with Lindemann taking the sprint over Spivey for fourth. Kingma hung tough for a sixth-place finish.
“Today was incredible,” Duffy said after the race. “I couldn’t have asked for a better race. I was hoping to have a good race – the crowd just pulled me through on that 10 km run.”
You can see full results here.