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Duffy claims world title

Winning feeling: Bermuda's Flora Duffy won in Sardegna

Flora Duffy won one of the grittiest and grimiest races of the season in the Sardegna ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Sardinia, Italy, today.

Duffy, who finished second in last year’s race in Zittau, Germany, commanded the race throughout and finished in a time of 2hr 25min 56sec — almost four minutes quicker than second-place Barbara Riveros, of Chile.

Completing the podium was Brigitta Poor, of Hungry, in 2:38:10, while the defending champion Kathrin Muller, of Germany, finished thirteenth in 2:48:46.

Duffy, 27, dominated the 1.5k swim and had an advantage of almost 1.30 ahead of second-place Riveros before working alone to extend her lead in the 31km bike — her strongest discipline.

The Bermudian, who won the bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in Toronto in July, made light work of the muddy off-road tracks with the fastest time in 9.6km run (38.35) to comfortably secure the title.

The win marks Duffy’s second world title, having claimed the Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii, last year.

In the men’s elite race, Ruben Ruzafa, of Spain, won in a time of 2:13:11 ahead of Mexico’s Francisco Serrano in 2:13:38 and third-place Sam Osborne in 2:16:02.

Cross triathlons are distinguished from conventional races by the terrain for the cycling and running stage, which are generally unpaved, rough, and hilly, with athletes employing mountain bikes rather than road bikes.