Flora Duffy dominates in Huatulco for first World Cup victory
Despite an early start time, the elite women competing in Huatulco at the third stop of the 2012 ITU World Cup circuit were confronted with debilitating heat. The high air and water temperatures, combined with a steep climb on the bike and a hilly run, provided the scene for a challenging day. While some athletes fell victim to the brutal conditions, others prevailed, making it a day of “firsts”.
With a powerful run, Flora Duffy claimed the top spot, earning her first World Cup victory. Similarly, Pamela Oliveira secured her first-ever World Cup medal, gaining essential Olympic points along the way. Home favorite Claudia Rivas rounded out the top three, making her the first Mexican woman to medal at a World Cup since 1993.
“I’m starting to tear up I’m so happy,” Duffy said. “It’s been a long road to get here. Today was a hard race and a hard course, but I think that’s what I needed to make me focus and really push. It totally played to my strengths today.”
The question then became who had enough left to finish the run. Duffy answered, splitting the fastest transition time to sprint out ahead of the group on the first run lap. It was a small, but decisive move in the race. Duffy blazed through the first lap to gain a 28-second lead. While her own pace dropped on the second lap, she still managed to increase her lead by another 20 seconds.
“Towards the end, the bikes started to get really hot,” Duffy said of how the heat affected her. “I went through two bottles, which I don’t normally do. Then on the run, at every stop I put water on my head and water on my body.”
After Duffy sailed to the win in 2:13:17, an elated Oliveira crossed over thirty seconds later at 2:13:47 for the silver. Cheered on by the locals, Rivas took third six seconds behind Oliveira.
Tyler Butterfield Finished 4th in Huatulco
Meanwhile Tyler Butterfield competed in the Men’s Elite Race and finished in 4th place finish in a time of 2:03:04. Simon De Cuyper from Belgium won the event with a time of 2:02.34, Butterfield came out of the water in a time of 19:12, before recording a time of 1:09.25 on the run course and then closed out with a 33:13 run.