Bike could propel Duffy to gold in Sweden
Flora Duffy’s ability on the bike could set her up for a first gold medal of the season in Stockholm today.
The tricky cobblestone streets of the Swedish capital are likely to play to the Bermuda triathlete’s strengths, ones that have already seen her take bronze in the World Triathlon Series races Abu Dhabi and silver in Leeds.
Those performances have also propelled Duffy to the top of the world rankings which means that she will wear the gold No 1 for a second time.
With Gwen Jorgensen not competing today, Duffy’s main challengers are likely to be British pair Jodie Stimpson, who is second in the world rankings, and Helen Jenkins, with Andrea Hewitt, of New Zealand, also in the mix.
Stimpson began the season with a win in Abu Dhabi, grabbed silver in Cape Town and just missed out on the podium in Leeds.
Hewitt, who is always a force to be reckoned with, kicked off her season with a roar in Gold Coast where she raced to bronze. Stronger in the back half of the season, Hewitt has scored bronze and silver in Stockholm the past two years.
Although a consistent feature on the WTS podium, Hewitt hasn’t won a WTS race since 2011.
And then there is Sarah True, of the United States, the defending champion is looking for a hat-trick of wins in Stockholm after taking the title in 2014 and 2015, but is presently nineteenth in the world rankings and finished fifteenth in Leeds last month.
American compatriot Katie Zaferes will join True on the start line this weekend. Zaferes, like True, will compete in Rio this summer after a remarkable six podiums last season, one of which was silver in Stockholm.
While she hasn’t featured on the podium yet this year, this could be the venue that gets Zaferes back on the medal stand.
However, the American duo will face off with the full Great Britain Olympic roster with Holland and Non Stanford joining Jenkins in making appearances in Stockholm.
Jenkins started off her season by earning third place in the season opener in Abu Dhabi, and continued on to win in Gold Coast. Holland is fresh off a podium performance in Leeds, while Stanford has one win under her belt this season from Cape Town.
The women’s race in Stockholm is due to begin at 11am Bermuda time and can be watched live here.
• The XL Catlin Triathlon also takes place this weekend with local triathletes competing in sprint and Olympic distance races at Clearwater Beach tomorrow.
The races start at 8am, with a team race also taking place in the sprint distance.