There was simply no denying the imperious Flora Duffy a second World Triathlon Championship Series Bermuda Gold in Hamilton, nor the thousands of fans lining the streets of the capital desperate to help cheer their hero to glory.
While France’s Vincent Luis laid down a huge marker for the next 18 months with a resurgent performance to land Gold in the World Triathlon Championship Series Bermuda Men’s race.
Chasing a record fourth world title, Duffy knew that a win again in Abu Dhabi would make that goal a reality and set about the task with her trademark focus from the very first strokes of the swim. Hitting the front and riding solo on the first laps of the bike, she was joined by Maya Kingma and the two hauled each other around the remainder of the bike, combining perfectly to keep the rest of the field – and specifically Taylor Knibb – at bay.
Duffy clocked a time of 2:01:26, with Knibb second in 2:03:04, and Beth Potter finished third clocking 2:03:17.
“Today was incredible,” said a beaming Flora Duffy afterward. “I couldn’t have asked for a better race. I was hoping to have a good day, the crowd was amazing, but racing at home as Olympic Champion I knew I needed a big performance. It was one of those days where everything lined up, I was just so thankful for Maya on the bike who was so strong, and the crowd pulled me through on that 10km run. It was really difficult to keep my composure and then that last lap I was just able to soak it in and enjoy it.”
Behind Luis, was the Spanish duo Antonio Serrat Seoane and Roberto Sanchez Mantecon showed their run prowess once again, both scooping remarkable debut WTCS podiums having come out of the water 28th and 34th respectively and then patiently awaiting their moment to strike. The pair had been in the chase bike pack for the duration of the 40km run and had considerable ground to make up out of T2, easing through the gears to pass the gutsy Jelle Geens and take silver and gold respectively.
Luis was clocked across the line in 1:49:37, Seoane was second in 1:49:45, and Mantecon was third in 1:49:54.