Flora Duffy dominates in Huatulco for first World Cup victory

06 May, 2012 09:22 • Español

video placeholder Your video is loading. If the video fails to load please upgrade your Flash player

Bermuda's Flora Duffy takes her first-ever World Cup win in Mexico

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 (BER) claimed the top spot, earning her first World Cup victory. Similarly, Pamela Oliveira (BRA) secured her first-ever World Cup medal, gaining essential Olympic points along the way. Home favourite 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 three were a part of a lead pack that proved impossible to chase down from early on. Rivas and Oliveira led the ladies out of the swim. With a quick transition, Oliveira wasted no time using her strong bike legs to conquer the monster 24% grade hill. 

By the first lap, the top finishers, along with Alexandra Razarenova (RUS), Line Jensen (DEN), Yuko Takahaski (JPN) and Margit Vanek (HUN) had opened up a minute and a half lead. The ladies took turns at the helm, pushing the group of seven further and further in front of a struggling chase pack. By the end of the eight-lap bike course, there was a three and a half minute time gap between the two groups.

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.”

Behind her, Rivas, Oliveira, Razarenova, and Jensen ran shoulder-to-shoulder until the final lap. In a battle to the end, Oliveira, who spoke of improving her running at the press conference on Friday, surged slightly ahead. Rivas followed Oliveria’s pace, while Razarenova and Jensen couldn’t muster enough stamina to maintain the speed.

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.

Razarenova came across the line in fouth place while Jensen rounded out the top five.

Yuliya Yelistratova (UKR) was tops for ITU’s development team in 7th place, clocking the day’s fastest run.  Fellow Team ITU competitor Mateja Simic (SLO) finished just behind her in the 8th spot.

Vendula Frintova (CZE) was running in the top ten but unfortunately succumbed to the soaring heat and difficult conditions as she collapsed less than 50 metres from the finish line and had to be carried away by medics. She was taken to hospital and the latest reports showed signs of improvement.

The elites weren’t the only athletes to compete this weekend. On Saturday, junior athletes from Mexico, Canada and the USA competed in the 2012 Huatulco PATCO Triathlon Junior North American Championships. The youth vied for a chance to qualify for Junior Pan American Games later this year, at which they can qualify for Junior World Championships.

Battling similar hot conditions a day earlier in the sprint distance, Amelie Kretz (CAN) finished first in 1:06:11. Mexico’s Adriana Barraza and Vanesa De la Torre clocked in next at 1:06:45 and 1:07:27, respectively, to earn spots on the podium.


Article gallery
Related Event: 2012 Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup
06 May, 2012 • event page
Results - Elite Women
1. Flora Duffy BER 02:13:17
2. Pamella Oliveira BRA 02:13:47
3. Claudia Rivas MEX 02:13:53
4. Alexandra Razarenova RUS 02:14:11
5. Line Jensen DEN 02:14:27
6. Yuko Takahashi JPN 02:15:33
7. Yuliya Yelistratova UKR 02:15:51
8. Mateja Simic SLO 02:16:21
9. Lisa Perterer AUT 02:16:28
10. Katrien Verstuyft BEL 02:16:28
Results - Elite Men
1. Simon De Cuyper BEL 02:02:34
2. Ryan Sissons NZL 02:02:50
3. Danylo Sapunov UKR 02:02:54
4. Tyler Butterfield BER 02:03:04
5. Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero COL 02:03:07
6. Andrew Yorke CAN 02:03:13
7. Davide Uccellari ITA 02:03:20
8. Alessandro Fabian ITA 02:03:27
9. Ruedi Wild SUI 02:03:41
10. Ryan Bailie AUS 02:03:48
Related articles
  • 2012 Huatulco World Cup press conference highlights
    Past world champion Ivan Rana and 2011 Pan Am Games bronze medallist Pamela Oliveira joined Claudia Rivas and Crisanto Grajales in Huatulco to meet with the media ahead of the third stop of the 2012 ITU World Cup season
    09:13 - 04 May, 2012
  • Team ITU ready to race in Huatulco
    It's the final Team ITU event for 2012, as well as the final World Cup of the Olympic Qualification period, so take a look at some of the athletes the ITU Development programme is helping to chase history.
    05:01 - 02 May, 2012
  • 2012 ITU World Cup season hits Huatulco
    The ITU World Cup series returns to Huatulco for the fifth year in a row this weekend, and it's the last world cup event of the official Olympic qualification period. Find out who is going to tackle the tough course here.
    11:51 - 30 Apr, 2012
Tracker Pixel for Entry
Latest News
more news →