Lessons learnt for Dame Flora Duffy in Collins Cup debut
Dame Flora Duffy enjoyed an encouraging debut competing in the Collins Cup triathlon series.
Representing Team International, Duffy faced off against Daniela Ryf, of Team Europe, and Sarah True, of Team USA in the opening match of 12 — consisting of a two-kilometre swim, 80km bike and 18km run — taking place over the course of the event at the X-Bionic Sphere in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and world champion, who was handed a wild card for the race series, led out of the water with the fastest swim of the day (25min 33sec) but from that point on Ryf took control in a masterclass on the bike and run.
The Ironman world champion passed Duffy on the bike before going on to stretch her advantage beyond the all-important six-minute mark on the run to claim and extra 2½ bonus points on top of the three for winning the race in a time of 3:28:50.
The Bermudian managed to stay well clear of True to finish in second place and claim a bonus point for her team.
Duffy conceded to enduring a tough outing over the long course format but is adamant she will continue to race over the longer distances.
“It was a tough day out there for me but I’m glad to have finally completed a long-course race and I learnt a lot,” Duffy wrote on Instagram. “80km in the time-trial position is savage.
“So awesome to see Daniela Ryf, crush it. Thrilled for you.
“Had a lot of fun with my Team International team-mates. Lots of laughs throughout the week. Thanks to everyone for the cheers out there. I’ll be back for some more long course and hopefully be a little better.”
Team Europe produced a superb display to again run away with victory and successfully defend their title.
Twelve months ago they passed the 40 points mark; this time it was even more emphatic as they collected 53, and all this without the likes of Jan Frodeno and Lucy Charles-Barclay, who had played starring roles in 2021.
Team International had a strong day, with four individual wins, but it was a shocking afternoon for Team USA, as they failed to collect a single victory from the six men and women’s races, and took home the “Broken Spokes” trophy as a result.