I’ve tried to be consistent over the last two years. Flora Duffy
An amazing triathlete
By Roger Childs
She’s modest, cheerful and very fast.
Flora Duffy, from the small island of Bermuda, population 65,000, is currently the best woman triathlete on the planet.
Kiwi Andrea Hewitt won the first two events in the 2017 International Triathlon Union series in Abu Dhabi and the Gold Coast, but Flora wasn’t competing.
The Bermudan won the next three in Yokohama, Leeds and Hamburg, and she was out to make it four in a row in the sprint distance event in Edmonton.
A picturesque but demanding course
The swim leg in Edmonton is round a lake which has an island in the middle. Then the bike leg provides a major challenge in that it is technical and hilly.
There is an early hill about a kilometre from the start with a hairpin bend at the top and that is followed by a winding ride through leafy suburban streets.
Then it is on to the downhill, with an initial 90 degree bend before the athletes reach speeds of over 70kph heading down to a sharp bend into the start/finish area.
The run includes the same demanding climb as on the bike, and also has a fast downhill section to follow.
Duffy shows her class
Flora was fifth out of the water and with a brilliant transition was first away on the bike in the company of 20 year old American, Taylor Knibb.
None of the other women could catch the pair which played into the hands of Duffy who is an excellent cyclist and a very quick runner.
On the last lap of the bike leg she pulled away from Knibb and had a 12 second lead heading out on the three lap running leg.
There was no doubt who would be on top of the podium, but could Knibb hold off the rest of the field which included fellow Americans Katie Zaferes and Kirsten Kaspar who were second and third in Hamburg.
Duffy duly finished first, completing the 750m swim, 21km bike and 5km run in an amazing 60 minutes and 21 seconds!
Knibb did hold on coming in a minute behind Duffy, and Zaferes was 23 seconds further back in third.
For Flora Duffy that makes it four wins in a row and the Edmonton victory has taken her to the top of the overall points standings. Next weekend it’s all on again in Montreal.