After sitting out a good part of the World Triathlon Series due to injury, Flora Duffy embarked on a busy schedule of racing as she looks to both test her body and hone her fitness ahead of the crucial 2020 season as she looks for a medal winning performance at the Olympic Games, the one medal missing from her impressive collection to date.
After not racing since July 2018 Flora made a stunning comeback taking the win at the Tokyo olympic course test event that attracted a very strong field. Flora followed that up with a 5th place finish at the ITU World Series Grand Final, the biggest race on the 2019 calendar , and a 3rd place finish at the Banyoles World Cup event the following weekend in a race that also attracted a strong field. To cap off her Olympic distance racing Flora competed in the Beijing International Triathlon, an event that attracted a small but impressive field of athletes that on the women’s side included Lucy Hall, Non Stanford, Natalie Van Coverden and Caroline Routier. As expected Flora and the British athlete Lucy Hall used their strong swim / bike combination to open up a four minute lead by the end of the bike with Flora posting a minute quicker run to finish in 2 hr 04 mins and 55 secs, over a course which clearly had a long 10km run, to take the win.
This weekend Flora returns for the first time since 2017 to the Xterra “offroad” triathlon scene as she races at the Xterra World Championships 2019. Flora won her first Xterra World Championship in 2014 and went on to win three more as she completely dominated the women’s field for four years wherever she raced, often also beating many of the male professional triathletes n in the mass start event. Between 2014-17 Flora won 4 world titles by large margins, before injury in 2018 curtailed her winning streak, and if she were to win this weekend she would be the first Xterra athlete to win 5 world professional XTerra titles. Flora will go into this event as the favorite.
See below for the preview of the women’s professional race and an interview with Flora.