Flora Duffy took another step towards consecutive World Championships when she steamrolled her way to victory at WTS Hamburg on Saturday.
Text By Rob Sheeley | Images By ITU Media
Like a classic Renaissance artist, Duffy’s racing style is not only proving superior in class but also impossible to imitate. If Duffy was da Vinci, 2017 could well prove to be her Mona Lisa.
The victory was the third-straight win this season for the Bermudian and the first of her career over the sprint distance. Australia’s Ashley Gentle produced the fastest run-leg to take second place, while the local crowd were delighted when Laura Lindemann gained her first WTS podium by finishing third.
“I really actually can’t believe it,” Duffy said after the win.
“Coming into the third race I felt a lot of pressure, especially it being a sprint and in Hamburg, I have not raced here in years, So I just really had to go for it.
“I tried to race fast from start to finish and I had to make the most on the bike because I knew that my run pace speed was not at the same level as some of the top runners are, so I just took a chance and luckily it worked out.”
It was Duffy’s trademark power on the bike that proved to be the catalyst for her win.
“I came out of the swim a little further back than I wanted to so I just really hammered the first part of the bike and I knew the chute was quite technical so I knew if I just hammered that into transition I would be ok.
“We were able to breakaway three of us, we were working ok, I was getting a little frustrated though so I thought I would attack and go solo and that ultimately made the race for me.”
Duffy was in 10th place out of the water, 10-seconds behind the leader, Vittoria Lopes. Her rapid effort in transition allowed her to quickly form a lead pack of three with Jess Learmonth and Kirsten Kasper.
Despite this leading trio continually opening up a gap on the main pack, Duffy decided to take matters into her own hands and went up the road solo.
She put 25-seconds on Learmonth and Kasper but had 45-seconds on the main pack which was a very handy lead with only 5km on foot remaining.
While Duffy’s win was never in doubt, Gentle was scorching the bitumen, outrunning all-and-sundry en route to the silver medal.
Lindemann was made to earn her first taste of WTS success, prevailing in a sprint finish with the experienced Katie Zaferes.
Further back, Charlotte McShane produced a performance under pressure to secure a place in the Australian team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. McShane had to finish in the top-10 to claim the position alongside Gentle, which she did with aplomb, grabbing eighth in front of Rachel Klamer and Sophie Coldwell.
Zaferes fourth placing was enough to see her make her way to the top of the rankings. Gentle moves to second with Duffy up two places to fourth.
WTS Hamburg 2017 Results
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