After an impressive performance that saw her race on her own in both the bike and run legs, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy was able to finally capture her first-ever World Triathlon Series title at the 2016 Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm. Her debut WTS gold also guaranteed her a spot as the current leader in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings.
The silver medal went to New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt, who earned her second WTS medal of the season by an uphill sprint finish over Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins, who finished with the bronze.
USA’s Katie Zaferes excelled in the tough water conditions, getting an early lead over the field. However, it was compatriot Sarah True, Japan’s Juri Ide and Duffy who were able to stay close to Zaferes, just a few seconds behind.
Duffy wasted no time in taking advantage of her dominance on the bike, and pushed ahead to set her own pace. With True, Zaferes and Ide fading coming up behind, she was left to ride the nine-lap course alone. At one point during the race, Duffy reached a one-minute gap, while a 15-strong group attempted to hunt her down.
In the second half of the cycle – with the group losing a few riders, including Jodie Stimpson who suffered from some GI distress and was forced to withdraw – a huge fifth lap saw them shave 10 seconds off the gap. That gap was down to just 25 seconds as the women headed into the second transition area, putting Duffy well within reach.
However, Duffy showed no sign of weakness in her legs, and surged on in the run to maintain her lead. While Hewitt and Jenkins nibbled away at the time distance on the final two laps, she held them off long enough to get to the blue carpet first. Slowing only slightly for a few high-fives, Duffy grabbed the winner’s tape for the first time in her elite career. The win from Duffy meant that she became the 17th female in the history of the Series to win a WTS title, while her home nation of Bermuda became the 10th country to also get the gold.
2016 Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run