Two-time ITU World Champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda won her second straight 2020 World Cup with a dominating solo performance at Arzachena, Italy.
Duffy led the 750-meter swim by 10 seconds, finished the tough 20-kilometer bike course with a 50 seconds lead, and crossed the 5-kilometer run with a 1:11 margin over Beth Potter of Great Britain and 1:14 over 3rd place finisher Verena Steinhauser of Italy.
“I was super happy with the swim, as well as the overall race,” Duffy told ITU media. “Sorting out my swim was a main goal here and the bike course I knew I just had to attack. I wasn’t expecting to be riding solo but I’ve been there before so it didn’t freak me out. I tried to ride hard but within myself and really maximize the descent, get aero and push.”
Katie Zaferes of the U.S. wore number 1 as befitting the 2019 World Champion but by the first buoy the 2016 and 2017 World Champion Flora Duffy had only clear water ahead.
After a race-best 9:11 swim split, Duffy had a 10-seconds lead followed by Zaferes, Spaniards Sara Perez Sala and Anna Godoy Contreras, Natalie Van Coevorden of Australia and Rachel Klamer of Netherlands.
On the first long climb and the subsequent downhill, Duffy took control of the race with a 35 seconds lead after lap one. In Duffy’s wake, Zaferes, Klamer and Verena Steinhauser of Italy were joined in the chase pack by Angelica Olmo of Italy, Leonie Periault of France, and Potter.
After a by-far race-best 33:35 bike split, Duffy hit T2 with a 50 seconds lead on Klamer, Potter and Olmo. On the first lap of the run, Klamer faded while Potter and Periault advanced to second and third. After a race-best 16:55 run, Duffy finished in 1:00:53 with a 1:11 lead on Potter and 1:14 on final podium finisher Verena Steinhauser, who clipped Periault by one second. Olmo took 5th, Zaferes 6th and Kamer 7th.
“That was everything I wanted to get right after [her 21st place at] Hamburg,” Potter told ITU media. “On the second half of each [bike] lap I just tried to keep the legs relaxed and then hit the flat and that paid off coming through transition I had the cadence up and was ready to go.”
“It was a good race for me with the hill on the bike, but I didn’t believe I could get on a podium in such a big field,” Steinhauser told ITU media. “It’s such a steep hill you just have to get on the top of it. I didn’t have a great race in Hamburg, was a bit better in Karlovy Vary, and this is an amazing way to finish the season.”
Arzachena World Cup
October 10, 2020
S 750 M / B 20 k / R 5k
1. Flora Duffy (Ber) S 9:11 T1 00:46 B 33:35 T2 00:27 R 16:55 TOT 1:00:53
2. Beth Potter (GBR) S 9:32 T1 00:46 B 34:14 T2 00:22 R 17:12 TOT 1:02:04
3. Verena Steinhauser (ITA) S 9:29 T1 00:50 B 34:11 T2 00:27 R 17:12 TOT 1:02:07
4. Leonie Periault (FRA) S 9:45 T1 00:44 B 34:03 T2 00:27 R 17:12 TOT 1:02:08
5. Angelica Olmo (ITA) S 9:45 T1 00:49 B 34:00 T2 00:25 R 17:21 TOT 1:02:14
6. Katie Zaferes (USA) S 9:23 T1 00:49 B 34:20 T2 00:25 R 17:24 TOT 1:02:18
7. Rachel Klamer (NED) S 9:28 T1 00:45 B 34:17 T2 00:22 R 17:47 TOT 1:02:38
8. Lisa Tertsch (GER) S 9:40 T1 00:48 B 35:04 T2 00:25 R 17:03 TOT 1:02:58
9. Alberte Kjaer Pedersen (DEN) S 9:44 T1 00:44 B 35:05 T2 00:27 R 17:03 TOT 1:03:00
10. Mathilde Gautier (FRA) S 9:31 T1 00:50 B 35:12 T2 00:25 R 17:26 TOT 1:03:21`
12. Erika Ackerlund (USA) S 9:29 T1 00:48 B 35:16 T2 00:25 R 17:31 TOT 17:31