Flora Duffy put Bermuda on the triathlon map when she scored her first World Triathlon Series win at the 2016 Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm with a solo dominant performance on the bike and run. In the men’s race, Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain edged out younger brother Jonathan for his second consecutive WTS win.
After an impressive performance that saw her race on her own in both the bike and run legs, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy was able to finally capture her first-ever World Triathlon Series title at the 2016 Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm. Her debut WTS gold also guaranteed her spot as the current leader in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings.
The silver medal went to New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt, who earned her second WTS medal of the season by an uphill sprint finish over Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins, who finished with the bronze.
USA’s Katie Zaferes excelled in the tough water conditions, getting an early lead over the field. However, it was compatriot Sarah True, Japan’s Juri Ide and Duffy who were able to stay close behind Zaferes just a few seconds behind.
Duffy wasted no time in taking advantage of her dominance on the bike, and pushed ahead to set her own pace. With True, Zaferes and Ide fading behind, Duffy was left to ride the nine-lap course alone. Duffy reached a one-minute gap at one point in the race, while a 15-strong group attempted to hunt her down.
In the second half of the cycle, while the group lost a few riders, including Jodie Stimpson who suffered from some GI distress and was forced to withdraw, a huge fifth lap saw them shave 10 seconds off the gap. That gap was down to just 25 seconds as the women headed into the second transition area, putting Duffy within reach.
However, Duffy showed no sign of weakness in her legs, and surged on in the run to maintain her lead. While Hewitt and Jenkins nibbled away at the time distance on the final two laps, she held them off long enough to get to the blue carpet first. Slowing only slightly for a few high fives, Duffy grabbed the winner’s tape for the first time in her elite career. The win from Duffy meant that she became the 17th female in the history of the Series to win a WTS title, while her home nation of Bermuda became the 10th country to also get the gold.
Executing yet another phenomenal run, Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee recaptured the title at the 2016 Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm. First earning the crown in 2013, his winning performance meant that the Stockholm gold would return back to the Brownlee name as it has now been claimed by Alistair or younger brother Jonathan Brownlee four out of the five years.
Sticking with Alistair right until the final metres, Jonny finished the day with silver, meaning the Brownlees have now gone 1-2 on the WTS podium six times. They have now also| shared the WTS podium a total of 11 times. Behind them, France’s Pierre Le Corre ran his way to bronze.
Richard Varga’s lead out of the water was only momentarily as a group of 12 men formed together to start out the 9-lap cycle. The pack included both Brownlees, Fernando Alarza (ESP), Henri Schoeman (RSA), Dan Wilson (AUS), Jorgen Gunderson (NOR), Jonas Schomburg (TUR), Andreas Salvisburg (SUI), Aurelien Raphael (FRA) Le Corre, Varga, and Shaw.
Just off the pace was trio Andreas Schilling (DEN), Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Gordon Benson (GBR), who worked vigorously to catch the leaders, a task that they accomplished midway.
With no breaks on the bike, Alistair and Jonathan seized the opportunity to catapult to the front two spots early on the four-lap run. Running side by side, it was clear that both brothers would once again be on the WTS podium together, but it was not a matter of who would get the gold and who would get the silver.
Behind them, Schoeman, Blummenfelt and Schomburg were running as a trio, gunning for the final podium spot. However, a negative split performance meant Le Corre came blasting past the group into the bronze medal position.
With one kilometre to go, it still was uncertain which of the Brownlee brothers would take the gold. However, in a final last-ditch effort, older brother Alistair jutted ahead of Jonny to hit the finish chute first. He captured his second consecutive WTS victory of the season and also his second WTS Stockholm title after first winning it back in 2013.