Duffy snags debut Montreal World Cup title
Becoming the first elite to ever win the event title, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy scored gold at the 2016 Montreal ITU Triathlon World Cup.
In the last major ITU competition before the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games begin for triathlon, Duffy secured the first-place medal right before having to head south to race on August 20. By executing her famous cycle and then continuing the power onto the run, Duffy grabbed her first World Cup win of the season and first since 2012.
Duffy said of her win, “It kind of came as a bit of a surprise, I came in here pretty tired just came from a big block of training for Rio, but just new I wanted to get one last hit out, so I knew it could go either way. It definitely hurt out there, but I am glad with how it went. But yeah it just did not feel too pretty.”
Taking the silver medal was Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle, who also snagged a piece of hardware just in time before she sets to compete on the world’s stage in the Olympics. While the bronze was awarded to Taylor Knibb (USA), who stepped onto her first World Cup podium.
“I didn’t know how it was going to go. I have not raced since Yokohama, but I knew that coming here was good timing for Rio. So I am pretty relieved that I put up a good result, said Gentle of her podium performance.”
With the skyline of Montreal as the backdrop to the race start, the elite women lined up to tackle the sprint course as the Canadian city hosted the event for the first time.
USA’s Summer Cook was able to slightly edge out Duffy in the swim and exit as the swim leader. But after having to run up a fairly long ramp to the first transition zone, it was Duffy who led the way, while the majority of the field followed closely behind.
As the women saddled up on the bike, Duffy charged ahead for the first advantage. Halfway through the first lap, she gave way ever so slightly to allow young Knibb to join in and make for a cycling duo. However, as one of the strongest cyclists in the elite force, Duffy decided her moment had come to surge ahead and finish the short four-lap course on her own.
Taking the time to gather together during the first lap on the bike, a talented chase pack of seven women, that included Gentle, Paula Findlay (CAN), Kirsten Kasper (USA), Emma Jackson (CAN), Jolanda Annen (SUI), Yuka Sato (JPN) and Lindsey Jerdonek (USA), rode on in pursuit of the leading two.
Duffy was the first to enter the second transition zone and completed the entire five-kilometre, three-lap course untouched. The win gave her, her first World Cup victory since 2012, along with her second major ITU victory after she claimed a World Triathlon Series gold in Stockholm in July.
The battle for the remaining two medals then was left to the run. While Knibb entered the pavement with a lead over the chasing seven women, she had the pounding feet of them behind her. Gentle looked fierce in the run. Gaining on Knibb with every stride, she eventually caught up and overtook the young American on the second lap and continued on to cross the finish line second.
Knibb did manage to hold off the other passing threats and run down the finish chute and claim the bronze and guarantee herself her first World Cup podium in her first World Cup race ever competed in.
When asked about how she felt of her podium, Knibb shortly said, “It is my first World Cup, so it is all a big surprise!”