France’s Vincent Luis was never far from the front of the race as he backed up his ‘world title” with another win at the ITU Triathlon World Cup Karlovy Vary, while Flora Duffy showed that she truly is back with a dominant display over the standard-distance.
Luis shows swim, bike and run prowess
No one was surprised to see Richard Varga lead the way out of the water at the end of the first swim lap, but the Slovak super-swimmer was passed by Luis in the final few hundred meters. The Frenchman led into transition and blasted out on the bike joined by Germany’s Jonas Schomburg, Kenji Nener and Mark Devay, with last week’s worlds silver medalist Vasco Vilaca (POR) and another German, Jonas Breinlinger, joining the lead pack.
That group would open up a gap of 80 seconds on the chase group that included Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), Jelle Geens (BEL), Richard Murray (RSA) and Ben Dijkstra (GBR). Just towards the end of the bike Nener and Devay would crash in a tunnel, putting them out of the race, while Schomburg losing 25 seconds due to the crash.
That left Luis, Vilaca and Breinlinger to lead the way out onto the run course, with the race for the win quickly becoming a duel between Luis and Vilaca. By the halfway point of the run Luis had things in control and cruised to another impressive win. Vilaca was thrilled with second in just his third standard-distance event. Geens and Murray made a run for the final spot on the podium, with the Belgian taking the bronze.
Click here to see the men’s results.
Duffy blasts to a 90-second win
Great Britain’s Jessica Learmonth gave the rest of the field a swim lesson, coming out of the water with a 25-second lead, but wetsuit issues would negate all that as 2019 world champ Katie Zaferes (USA) led the way onto the bike course.
Those two would work together on the bike with Duffy and Germany’s Laura Lindemann joining up to chase. Last year’s winner in Hamburg, Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) would bridge up to join the chase group, too. Eventually Zaferes decided to drop back to the chase group to give her legs a break, leaving Learmonth on her own on the fifth of the seven laps that made up the 40 km bike course. Learmonth still had a 30 second lead as she heard the bell, but by the time she hit T2 the gap was only 17 seconds.
By the end of the first of four run laps Duffy was in front with Taylor-Brown in second, but this week things were completely different as it was the Bermudan who pulled clear, ending the day with a 35:34 run split the netted her the 97-second win. Maya Kingma, who had managed to join into the lead bike group, also got past Learmonth to take the bronze medal.
Click here to see the women’s results.