Duffy does The Double: Grand Final winner, World Champion

Chief Correspondent

Bermuda’s Triathlon Queen ends the 2017 season in style

Jess Learmonth adds another WTS Podium with Grand Final Bronze

Open up the Duffy playbook. Load file. Press play. Expect Plan A to work as well as it has all season. Plan executed. Tick.

That pretty much sums up the Women’s ITU Grand Final in Rotterdam. And, appropriately, it was a fitting way to finish the season. With five wins and a second place from six starts, Flora Duffy (BER) started the Grand Final with a huge lead (and maximum points) in the rankings – and any other result than, at the very least, a second consecutive World Championship for Bermuda’s star would have been very difficult to explain. She ‘only’ needed to finish seventh. She won by almost a minute. Flora Duffy’s utter dominance of 2017 was completed with another World Championship title.

Everyone knows the plan by now; swim fast, even quicker transition, get away early on the bike (quite likely with Great Britain’s Jess Learmonth and Katie Zaferes (USA)),build a big lead and then show no weakness on the run either. Leave everyone else wondering how she can be beaten.

Well, when Duffy, Learmonth and Zaferes arrived at T2 with a 90 second lead and just 10km to run, the only question really remaining were, a) would Zaferes be able to move up to Silver in the rankings ahead of Ashleigh Gentle, and b) could Jess Learmonth earn another WTS podium, after second place in Stockholm?

Flora quickly hit the front – and would further add to her dominance, with the fastest run split – while Zaferes was clear in second. Learmonth was looking good on the run, but in the later stages was seen to be suffering from a calf issue. While she was clearly in pain in the later stages, her lead over fourth placed Kirsten Kasper was more than enough that she could make it home for Bronze.

Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle hadn’t even made the chase group at T2, but a second fastest run spit (33:54) was just enough for her to run through the field to sixth position and, by just 18 points, take the World Championship Silver medal.

Rotterdam ITU World Triathlon Grand Final – Saturday 16th September 2017
1.5km / 40km / 10km

1st – Flora Duffy (GBR) – 1:58:38
2nd – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 1:59:33
3rd – Jessica Learmonth (GBR) – 2:00:56
4th – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 2:01:28
5th – Joanna Brown (CAN) – 2:01:46
6th – Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) – 2:01:59
7th – Rachel Klamer (NED) – 2:02:08
8th – Jodie Stimpson (GBR) – 2:02:19
9th – Summer Cook (USA) – 2:02:29
10th – Jolanda Annen (SUI) – 2:02:42

DNF – Lucy Hall (GBR)


Final World Triathlon Series Rankings

Gold – Flora Duffy (BER) – 5200
Silver – Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) – 4320
Bronze – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 4302
4th – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 3819
5th – Andrea Hewitt (NZL) – 3774
6th – Jessica Learmonth (GBR) – 3281

17th – Jodie Stimpson (GBR) – 1997
28th – Lucy Hall (GBR) – 1314
31st – Sophie Coldwell (GBR) – 1203
33rd – Non Stanford (GBR) – 1168
38th – India Lee (GBR) – 789
46th – Vicky Holland (GBR) – 586
63rd – Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) – 377
131st – Julie Nimmo (GBR) – 86
159th – Jenny Manners (GBR) – 40

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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