Missing bike dashes Dame Flora Duffy’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualification bid
Dame Flora Duffy’s hopes of qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships were dashed after she was unable to race in Mont Tremblant due to her bike not arriving in Canada.
The world and Olympic champion, who withdrew from the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships Montreal in favour of competing in the Subaru Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant, was facing her last opportunity to clinch one of three final qualifying slots on offer for October’s showpiece final in St George, Utah.
However, the 34-year-old, who arrived in Quebec as the prohibitive favourite, was unable to even take to the start line yesterday because her bike, which should have been loaded on a direct flight from Denver to Montreal on Friday, failed to arrive.
“I did not start at 70.3 Mont Tremblant because my bike did not arrive,” said Duffy, who was also denied the opportunity to compete in the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga race last month after she was forced to withdraw following a bout of Covid.
“I flew on a direct flight to Montreal from Denver on Friday and while my bags made it, my bike did not.
“I was hopeful it would be put on the flight the next day, which arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Dan [husband Dan Hugo] drove the 90 minutes from Mont Tremblant to Montreal in the early hours to search for my bike but it didn’t make it on the flight.
“It’s very disappointing because this was a big goal this year to qualify for the 70.3 World Championships.
“The window for qualification ends in two weeks and I’m racing in Hamburg in the World Triathlon event, so that’s my attempt at 70.3 done. Maybe I’ll try again next year.”
Duffy also explained why she could not borrow a bike for the race.
“In all honesty there really wasn’t all that much time to try and sort out another bike and of course everything else like the shoes and pedals,” she added.
“You also have to dial in the position and I wasn’t comfortable with riding a piece of equipment which was foreign to me for 90-kilometres.
“I know my body and I know that would not be a good thing for me having to then run a half marathon off of the back of a riding position that was not comfortable in.
“I know that can lead to other issues and that is just too big of a risk to me.
“It takes a lot more work than just finding another bike.”