Flora Duffy reveals how the wheels came off her 70.3 Worlds bid

A series of very unfortunate events for the Olympic Champion

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Flora Duffy has revealed how the wheels came off her bid to qualify for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant this past weekend.

The Tokyo Olympic gold medallist had been hoping to step up in distance to race at the showpiece event in St George, Utah in late October.

But now, after two failed attempts to make the start line and qualify, she has called time on that goal.

First she was forced to miss IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga due to COVID, and then at the weekend her bid to race Mont Tremblant was scuppered when her bike failed to arrive.

Flora Duffy on bike misery

Speaking on Instagram, a clearly disappointed Flora said: “I did not start Mont Tremblant 70.3 this morning – my bike did not arrive. I flew on a direct flight from Denver to Montreal on Friday, and my bags made it but my bike and disc wheel did not.

“I was hopeful that it would be out on the flight the next day, which only arrived into Montreal in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“So Dan (Flora’s husband) drove the 90 minutes from Tremblant down to Montreal to search for my bike super early this morning, but it didn’t make it on the flight. My disc wheel did, so he picked that up.

“He spent hours there just trying to see if my bike was there – the airport is absolute chaos, there was just bags everywhere, it’s crazy. So yeah, he came back and there was no bike and I couldn’t start the race.”

Borrowing a bike not smart

Flora also took time to explain why she did not feel comfortable borrowing a bike just to make the start line.

“I know a few people asked why I didn’t borrow a bike – to be honest there really wasn’t that much time and then of course you need shoes, cleats, pedals, dialling the position. And I just wasn’t comfortable riding a piece of equipment that was that foreign to me for 90km.

“I know my body, and I know that would not be a good thing for me in the long run, and then running a half-marathon off of riding a position that I was not comfortable in. I knew that would lead to bigger problems and it was just too much of a risk for me.

“And to be honest we just did not have enough time to dial all that in because it takes a lot more work than just finding a bike.”

Duffy will try again in 2023

Duffy re-iterated that racing at 70.3 Worlds had been a huge goal for her in 2022, one she admits is now over. It is likely she will try again in 2023.

“It’s very disappointing for me because this was a big goal of mine for this year to qualify for 70.3 World Champs post-Olympics. I was really looking forward to mixing up my racing, exploring some long-course.

“But I’ve tried twice now to qualify – I tried in Chattanooga but I picked up COVID and could not start, and now my bike doesn’t arrive for Mont Tremblant and the window for qualification ends in two weeks, and I’m racing at Hamburg at the World Triathlon event in two weeks.

“So yeah, that’s my attempt at 70.3 Worlds done, but I guess I’ll try again next year.”

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