Performances of the Year: Taylor Knibb’s breakaway day in Edmonton

Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

It wasn’t quite a wire-to-wire win, but at the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Finals in Edmonton American Taylor Knibb took the lead on the second lap of the swim and never looked back, riding away from some of the best women triathletes on the planet to take a second WTCS title for 2021 after her breakaway win at Yokohama in May.

After leading out of the water, Knibb steadily pulled clear of the rest of the field – riding all by herself she was 25-seconds up on a group that included Olympic gold-medalist Flora Duffy (BER). Knibb was so strong on the day that by the end of the ride her lead up was up to 2:44.

Early on in the run Duffy made a push to try and gain some ground on the American, but it was quickly apparent that there was no touching Knibb. While she was losing a bit of time to her two closest chasers – France’s Leonie Periault and Duffy. In the end Knibb would hit the line in 1:54:47, 56-seconds ahead of Periault, while Duffy would round out the podium. That was enough to net Duffy the world title for her consistency throughout the year. On the day, though, there was no touching Knibb. The youngest American Olympic triathlete had made her Ironman 70.3 debut in Boulder a couple of weeks before her big day in Edmonton, and a week later would follow a similar race plan at the Collins Cup, but we’ll have more on that later this week!