‘I guess my reputation precedes me a little bit’ – Flora Duffy on her next challenge

News Director

Dame Flora Duffy, last year’s female triathlete of the year, is looking forward to “proving herself” at the PTO’s 100km distance this season as she mixes those races with her Olympic ambitions.

Last year proved a largely frustrating one at middle distance – her attempts to qualify for the 70.3 Worlds were first derailed by Covid which forced her to miss Chattanooga, and then her bid to race Mont Tremblant was scuppered when her bike failed to arrive.

However she was given a wildcard and would finish fifth behind Taylor Knibb the at 70.3 Worlds last October.

‘Out of my comfort zone’

And speaking in the PTO’s latest video (embedded below) she reveals she’s looking forward to being able to combine her short-course ambitions with the longer races, saying: “It’s great to mix it up and do some of these 100k distance races and be out of my comfort zone and learn a new skill in triathlon.

“The plan for me – Paris is my big goal but I would also love to jump in to the 100k distance.”

YouTube video

Despite her relative lack of experience, she starts 2023 at #12 in the PTO rankings after her 70.3 Worlds, US Open and Collins Cup displays last season, while she also won IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa in January 2020.

However she insists: “I think I have a lot to prove that I can race well at this distance.

“I guess my reputation precedes me a little bit as I do kind of come in as the person who is the reigning Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion.

“It’s great to come in as someone that maybe can be perceived as a little bit intimidating or unknown or unsettle your competitors. You know it’s quite a power position to come in with.”

And asked what she’ll be focussing on, she added: “The biggest difference I found from short course to long course is spending time on the TT bike. 

“I’m definitely going to have to spend another year or so riding it consistently, getting used to the position and getting my aero position more and more dialed.

“It’s like lots of little things that make a massive difference over the 100k distance. That will be really important for me if I want to be really strong over this distance.

“It’s a much longer distance so I think a bit of patience needs to be had – some patience and smart racing to cross the line first.”

Duffy, who missed the WTCS opener in Abu Dhabi as she wanted a slower start to the year as she builds back from a knee injury, is likely to have a busy May. The PTO European Open takes place in Ibiza on May 6, followed a week later by WTCS Yokohama.

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