Flora Duffy of Bermuda won her 4th straight XTERRA World Championship and Bradley Weiss of South Africa won an upset victory in the pro men’s division at Kapalua, Maui.
Duffy broke fast to a 53 seconds lead with a women's-best 19:15 swim, crushed the bike leg with a 1:41:01 split that was 3:40 better than her strongest pursuer. Duffy, the two time defending World Triathlon Series World Champion, closed the deal with a women’s-best 45:08 trail run – 1:27 better than the next-best split - on Kapalua’s steep and rugged hills that brought her to the finish in 2:47:48 with an 8:24 margin of victory over Chilean Olympian Barbara Riveros and 9:37 over 3rd place Laura Philipp of Germany.
Duffy’s 4th straight XTERRA World Championship broke her tie with 3-time winners Julie Dibens of Great Britain and Melanie McQuaid of Canada and tied with XTERRA Men’s 4-time World Champion Conrad Stoltz of South Africa. Duffy’s XTERRA World Championship four-peat stands alone in the world of off road triathlon.
Duffy’s 2:47:48 time was her best of her four victories on the Kapalua course - 11 seconds better than her 2014 winning time. Duffy’s time was the 13th best overall including the men and was just 15:38 behind Weiss’s men’s winning time – roughly 10 minutes better than the average difference between the men’s and women's winners.
“We had a really hard day out there as always,” said Duffy. “So I just kept pushing hard all day. I just kept it positive. The course is really hard and brutal so even the best have a hard time out there.”
Bradley Weiss was well known among the non-championship XTERRA races around the world, but was not among the pre-race favorites at the World Championship. Weiss began his day among the men’s top contenders - with a tied with Sam Osborne of New Zealand 19:21 swim split that was behind four men and one woman – Flora Duffy’s 19:15 split. Weiss and Osborne were 11 seconds behind Ben Allen of Australia and Braden Currie of New Zealand and 1 second ahead of Mauricio Mendez. They were followed closely by Ironman star Ben Hoffman of the U.S. (19:25) and Francisco Serrano of Mexico (19:28).
Three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain, who trailed the leaders by 50 seconds after the swim, posted the fastest bike split of 1:27:24 that was 1:22 faster than Weiss’s mark and led Weiss by 32 seconds into T2.
Much of the field was anticipating that defending champion Mauricio Mendez of Mexico would sweep to a second straight victory with his commending run. But thanks to a sub-par 1:32:01 bike split, Mendez had 3:55 to make up on Ruzafa and 3:16 on Weiss. Mendez did set the men’s fastest run split with a 39:50 mark, which erased Ruzafa’s (43:42 run) lead. But it only cut 1:50 from Weiss’s (41:40 run) lead and left the South African with a 1:15 margin of victory on Mendez and 1:36 on 3rd place finisher Ruzafa.
After the race, Weiss said “I can’t believe it. I had the race of my life! This was the first time I ever made the lead swim pack. And Ruben pushed me so hard on the bike I fought back on the run with everything I had left. It was so hot, my left leg was cramping up and I was pretty much running on one leg.”
Weiss’ time was the third-best winning time at the Kapalua course, 5:20 behind Javier Gomez’s 2:26:50 in 2012.
XTERRA World Championship
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
October 29, 2017
S 1.5k / B 32l / R 11k
1. Bradley Weiss (RSA) S 19:21 B 1:28:46 R 41:40 TOT 2:32:10
2. Mauricio Mendez (MEX) S 19:22 B 1:32:01 R 39:50 TOT 2:33:25
3. Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) S 20:08 B 1:27:24 R 43:42 TOT 2:33:46
4. Francisco Serrano (MEX) S 19:28 B 1:30:216 R 42:43 TOT 2:34:30
5. Cedric Fleureton (FRA) S 21:04 B 1:29:52 R 41:15 TOT 2:34:51
6. Sam Osborne (NZL) S 19:21 B 1:31:56 T 42:48 TOT 2:36:23
7. Braden Currie (NZL) S 19:11 B 1:32:38 R 45:04 TOT 2:39:04
8. Josiah Middaugh (USA) S 22”17 B 1:30:51 R 44:01 TOT 2:39:33
9. Brice Daubord (FRA) 19:55 B 1:35:25 R 43:41 TOT 2:41:37
10. Rom Akerson (CRC) S 20:02 B 1:33:43 R 46:16 TOT 2:42:24
12. Ben Hoffman (USA) S 19:25 B 1:39:06 R 46:07 TOT 2:47:08
15: Ben Allen (AUS) S 19:10 B 1:39:18 R 48:46 TOT 2:49:41
1. Flora Duffy (BER) S 19:15 B 1:41:01 R 45:08 TOT 2:47:48
2. Barbara Riveros (CHL) S 20:08 B 1:46:23 R 47:01 TOT 2:56:12
3. Laura Philipp (GER) S 22:20 B 1:45:18 R 46:35 TOT 2:57:25
4. Brigitta Poor (HUN) S 22:46 B 1:44:48 R 51:35 TOT 3:02:37
5. Lesley Paterson (GBR) S 23:16 B 1:48:19 R 51:34 TOT 3:06:02
6. Suzie Snyder (USA) S 22:18 B 1:48:41 R 52:01 TOT 3:06:28
7. Elizabeth Orchard (NZL) S 23:17 B 1:49:25 R 51:05 TOT 3:06:41
8. Helena Karaskova (CZE) S 26:36 B 1:47:22 R 51:05 TOT 3:08:23
9. Carina Wasle (AUT) S 23:09 B 1:50:03 R 55:28 TOT 3:11:35
10. Emma Garrard (USA) S 24:25 B 1:53:51 R 51:22 TOT 3:12:46