Four consecutive XTERRA World Championship titles for two-time ITU World Champ, Flora Duffy
Debut win for Bradley Weiss from his best career performance in Maui
Two weeks after IRONMAN’s big show over on the big island of Hawaii, the highlight of the off-load season takes place on the island of Maui – the 2017 XTERRA World Championship – which saw a new name alongside a very familiar one on the top step of the podium.
Race day saw perfect conditions for the race which includes more than 4000 feet of climbing over the technical bike and run courses. With heavy rain earlier in the week, athletes will have been happy to see the sun on Sunday.
Bermuda’s Flora Duffy had dominated this race for the past three seasons and, with another ITU World Championship already secured, she never looked like doing anything but make it four in a row.
From the fastest swim of the day (19:14, versus the 20:07 of Barbara Riveros), she added by far the best bike ride too to reach T2 with a lead approaching six and a half minutes over the Chilean…before completing her domination with the fastest run of the day too. A winning margin of over eight minutes reflected the quality of her efforts on Sunday.
“I did my first XTERRA World Championship in 2013, and I can vividly remember almost falling over running on that beach down there,” said Duffy. “So, to be here today after winning four in a row is pretty unbelievable and pretty crazy to think about where I started. It’s a very special day for me, and what made it even cooler was that Bradley Weiss – Bad Brad I like to call him – won his first world title. We’ve done a lot of training together over the years. He helped me in my final prep to Rotterdam and I would like to think I helped him today.”
Riveros held on to second place through most of the race, chased down over the final run by Germany Laura Philipp who was Bronze medallist this year at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
Scotland’s Lesley Paterson, XTERRA World Champion in both 2011 and 2012 finished in fifth place, significantly off the pace of the flying Duffy – but reflecting her injuries leading into the race. Speaking to XTERRA Media, she said:
“I’ve only done one minute of run training the last four weeks because I was injured. And that was last night. The bike training has been pretty tough as was the swim.
“Unfortunately, I got a stress fracture in my pelvis. You know it’s been painful so it was a bummer. It was a challenge to get here. A lot of tears. A lot of frustration but I decided I wanted to come out here anyway because I love the XTERRA family and if I don’t come out here I don’t get to experience it. I just wanted to enjoy the experience.
“The swim felt good, it wasn’t painful. And the swim has been very painful just with the pelvis rotating. So I was really happy. But running up to the bike it was really painful and I thought, “Oh this is not going to be good.” But then the bike was fine. But I just didn’t have my top fitness and with these girls you have to come with your top game if you want to be competitive at all. And the run was just an absolute survival.”
We don’t have exact news on Jacqui Slack at the time of writing, though we know that she didn’t complete the bike after being inside the top ten during the early stages of the bike leg.
South Africa’s Bradley Weiss won the day in Kapalua, reaching the finish line just over a minute clear of defending champion Mauricio Mendez (MEX), putting much of that down to his best ever swim. “I didn’t lose any time on the swim which was unbelievable. I don’t know how I did it. I just felt so comfortable in the water. I actually caught a wave at the end and caught up and got past the group. When I stood up on the sand and saw Ben and Flora and the whole group I just thought, what’s going on?”
It was another former champion, Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) – winner in 2008/13/14 – ho would make the most of the bike course however, to reach T2 first thanks to the fastest bike split of the day (1:27:23), against the 1:28:45 from Weiss. Having had a deficit of almost a minute at T1, his lead starting the run was small though – and within the first mile the flying South African had caught him. The man on the move from behind was Mendez, who tore through the run in 39:49 – almost two minutes quicker than Weiss – but it wasn’t enough to defend his title.
For the third consecutive season, Ben Hoffman (USA) won the ‘Outrigger Resorts Double’ – the award for the fastest combined time at the IROMAN World Championship (8:19:26/9th and 2:47:07/12th).
XTERRA World Championships – Sunday 29th October 2017
1.5km / 32km MTB / 10.2 km off-road
1st – Bradley Weiss (RSA) – 2:32:09 – $20,000
2nd – Mauricio Mendez (MEX) – 2:33:24 – $12,000
3rd – Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) – 2:33:45 – $7,000
4th – Francisco Serrano (ESP) – 2:34:29 – $4,000
5th – Cedric Fleureton (FRA) – 2:34:50 – $2,500
1st – Flora Duffy (BER) – 2:47:47 – $20,000
2nd – Barbera Riveros (CHI) – 2:56:11 -$12,000
3rd – Laura Philipp (GER) – 2:57:24 – $7,000
4th – Brigitta Poor (HUN) – 3:02:36 – $4,000
5th – Lesley Paterson (GBR) – 3:06:01 – $2,500
DNF – Jacqui Slack (GBR)