After a thrilling finale in which Flora Duffy had to pull out all the stops to catch up with Beth Potter, Duffy has just won WTCS Hamburg. The Olympic Champion sat out a ten second penalty which made the run very exciting, but still proved too strong for everyone.
The start of the race was somewhat remarkable, because when it was time to start, a number of ladies stayed on the pontoon for a few seconds, for reasons that are unclear. In any case, it was the Brazilian Vittoria Lopes who immediately set the pace in the water and this hurt several athletes for sure as the field was immediately torn apart. Even before the 750 meter swim was over, the American Summer Rappaport took over the lead and eventually she came out of the water after 9:35 minutes, with Lopes at her feet and then the other ladies in a long line al following as close as possible.
On the bike, a leading group of eight ladies immediately formed, with Flora Duffy – who got a ten seconds penalty for putting equipment out of the box – and Taylor Spivey among the biggest favorites. Shortly behind them – at less than ten seconds – followed a second and approximately equally sized group including Maya Kingma, Summer Rappaport and Laura Lindemann and it was this group that joined the leading group after the first few kilometers. Behind them a larger group followed at more than half a minute.
While the chasing group had to work very hard not to let the gap get too big, it was mainly Kingma at the front and later Duffy who kept the pace high. In the penultimate bike lap Duffy even tried to break away, but Kingma was alert and rode back to the Olympic champion with seemingly ease and not much later the rest of the leading group joined in as well.
Kingma led the lead group in to T2 and left the transition area – after a very good transition – also first. Knowing that Duffy had a ten second penalty to serve out, the Dutch top athlete was in very good position. Even though she had a gap of a few seconds during the first meters of the run, it was the Hungarian Zsanett Bragmayer who soon came alongside and so the opening phase of the run was immediately an exciting one. Until Duffy had enough, accelerated and ran away from everyone. Potter was the best to follow, but clearly had trouble with the pace of the Olympic champion. It was Duffy who sat out her penalty after 2.5 kilometers – halfway so – and so Potter began the final run lap with a six-second lead.
In that second lap, there was really no stopping Duffy, who had set her sights on victory and caught up with Potter just before the end. She went for it and ran to a rock-solid victory in a time of 58:37. Potter eventually came in second at seven seconds and the German Lisa Tertsch, who beat Taylor Spivey among others, came in third at seventeen seconds.