Flora Duffy, Mario Mola Earn Second Straight ITU World Titles

The 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series came to a close on Saturday as Flora Duffy (BER) and Mario Mola (ESP) were crowned the 2017 world champions. Mola finished third in the Grand Final race in Rotterdam to secure his second straight crown, while Duffy was victorious and earned both the win on the day and the two-time world championship.

Men’s Recap
Keeping the world title for the nation of Spain for the fifth year in a row, a third-place finish at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam was enough to grant Mario Mola a back-to-back ITU World Triathlon Championship crown in a season-best performance. With the repeat title, Mola became only the second man in ITU history since the inception of the WTS to ever win two-straight world titles.

Winning the Grand Final race gold was France’s Vincent Luis, who claimed his first WTS victory of the season. Luis’s win came from a dominating and dramatic run effort, after breaking away from a powerful lead pack in the final metres to seize the event gold.

The silver medal went to Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), who once again, had one of the best run performances in the race to fly past the competition that he ran with stride for stride for the whole ten-kilometer course. With his second-place finish, he advanced 271 points over South Africa’s Richard Murray to take the third spot on the overall World Championship podium.

Crossing the line in fourth, Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) secured enough points to guarantee his place in the rankings to be named second overall in the season and the runner-up world champion.

Read the complete recap at Triathlon.org

Women’s Recap
In what looked like a near perfect race outcome that suited her strengths, Flora Duffy (BER) had a dominating performance at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Rotterdam to claim victory and reclaim her ITU World Championship title for the second year in a row.

Making a name for herself as one of the most consistent swim, bike and run athletes, Duffy’s Grand Final gold ended a season that saw her claim six WTS races in the year, that all aided in her repeat world honour.

Duffy said of her win: “I am pretty reluctant to ever say you can have a perfect race, but I would say today went just how I wanted it to. I had a great swim and set myself up perfectly for the bike. I tried to play it safe on the bike because there is so much on the line and then on the run I felt pretty strong, so I wanted to go for it. Yeah, it was a great day. I just try to make it a swim, bike and run. Not a swim, get through the bike and then onto the run. So maybe it is forcing everyone to be really good at all three, but that is how I want to race a triathlon, I just love to race.”

Coming in second place in the race was USA’s Katie Zaferes, who also had a strong overall performance from start to finish. With the result, she pushed her way into the third overall spot in the rankings to take the final place on the world championship podium; a career first for Zaferes.

“I am so excited. I told Flora (Duffy) when I finished that ‘you might have won, but I feel like I did.’ I am one more up from last year, so I just keep making my way,” she said of getting third in the overall season.

The bronze medal then went to Jessica Learmonth (GBR), who earned in Rotterdam her second WTS medal of her career.

Learmonth said, “It was hard from start to finish to be honest. I didn’t feel very comfortable throughout, I know I led out of the swim and stuff, but on the bike Flora (Duffy) and Katie (Zaferes) were so strong I was really struggling. I didn’t know how the run was going to go, I felt alright but my back was really stiff and the back of my calf hurt towards the end, but it was just a battle to hold on.”

One of strongest performances of the day came from Aussie Ashleigh Gentle, who despite being down by over three minutes on the bike, had the run of her life to finish sixth, which was the exact position needed in order for her to maintain her second-place spot on the world championship podium. The silver overall Series trophy was a career first and best for Gentle.

Read the complete recap at Triathlon.org

2017 ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final Rotterdam
Sept. 16, 2017 – Rotterdam, Netherlands
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run

Photo: Wagner Araujo/Triathlon.org

Men
2017 World Championship Podium
1. Mario Mola (ESP)
2. Javier Gomez Noya (ESP)
3. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)

Race Results
1. Vincent Luis (FRA) 1:51:26
2. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 1:51:28
3. Mario Mola (ESP) 1:51:36
4. Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) 1:51:41
5. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 1:51:52
6. Richard Murray (RSA) 1:52:06
7. Pierre Le Corre (FRA) 1:52:31
8. Joao Pereira (POR) 1:52:32
9. Andreas Schilling (DEN) 1:52:33
10. Thomas Bishop (GBR) 1:52:34

Women
2017 World Championship Podium
1. Flora Duffy (BER)
2. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS)
3. Katie Zaferes (USA)

Race Results
1. Flora Duffy (BER) 1:58:39
2. Katie Zaferes (USA) 1:59:34
3. Jessica Learmonth (GBR) 2:00:57
4. Kirsten Kasper (USA) 2:01:29
5. Joanna Brown (CAN) 2:01:47
6. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 2:02:00
7. Rachel Klamer (NED) 2:02:09
8. Jodie Stimpson (GBR) 2:02:20
9. Summer Cook (USA) 2:02:30
10. Jolanda Annen (SUI) 2:02:43