Wednesday, 07 Dec, 2022

Outstanding Flora Duffy wins WTCS Bermuda in front of home crowd

Flora Duffy winst WTCS Bermuda (Picture: Triathlon Today)

It was all about her winning the race in her home country, and so Flora Duffy did: she just crossed the finish line as the first athlete at the WTCS Bermuda. The reigning Olympic Champion was evenly matched with Dutch Maya Kingma for a long time, but when Kingma struggled during the run, Duffy was able to finish it off relatively easily.

Immediately during the swim – in pretty rough water and halfway through it also started to rain – a leading group of five ladies formed. That leading group came out of the water almost immediately; Bianca Seregni, Flora Duffy, Summer Rappaport, Vittoria Lopes and Sophie Coldwell. Twenty seconds later the first chasers followed. 

On the bike, the leading group stayed together for less than half a kilometer; Flora Duffy, no doubt supported by the home crowd, immediately took off and grabbed a small lead over the remaining ladies. Yet even that situation did not last long, because from behind it was Dutch Maya Kingma who made a huge rush to the front and caught Flora Duffy after only a few kilometers. From then on, the two women went on a joint adventure, riding head-to-head.

The two were more than successful in doing so, as they initially saw their lead over the chasing group grow to over 45 seconds. With about ten kilometers to go, however, it was Taylor Knibb who broke away from that chasing group and went hunting on her own. If there is anyone who can ride fast on her own and regularly decides races that way, it is Knibb and today the American showed herself to be very strong again; within a few kilometers she halved her gap and approached twenty seconds. Yet that effort was apparently a little too much for her, because in the final kilometers Knibb lost time again, and when Kingma and Duffy returned in T2, Knibb was 43 seconds behind them. The chasing group lost much more time in the final kilometers; after 1:50 minutes this group returned to T2.

Of the two leaders, Duffy had a slightly faster transition and left T2 a few seconds ahead of Kingma. For the Dutch athlete, it remained to be seen how her run would go anyway, as she injured her ankle a few days ago and it was fully taped up. Meanwhile, Knibb was running strong in third position, where at some points she could see Kingma and also Duffy running, knowing that there was a possibility to win positions.

After about four kilometers, Knibb indeed passed Kingma, who really struggled with the run and lost time very quickly. Just some minutes later, Kingma also knew that Potter would pass her and thus a podium finish was out of the question. Meanwhile, Duffy was flying down the course; her victory already seemed a certainty. 

Duffy did win the race after 2:01:26. Knibb finished second (+1:38) and Potter third (+1:51)

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