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The World Triathlon Series will stop for the first time in Bermuda for the second race of the 2018 season. Home of world champion Flora Duffy, the iconic island will welcome amateurs and elite athletes with elites competing in their first Olympic distance race of the season.
With Duffy toeing the start line, it is most likely that most of the 65,000 people who call themselves Bermudians will, in fact, be ready to cheer for her this Saturday. Even though the course looks like a perfect fit for probably the strongest rider of the pack, she will have some fierce competitors trying to call themselves the first ever winners of WTS Bermuda.
“It is a dream come true to have a WTS race in Bermuda, and I can’t wait to get to the start line”, said the proud Bermudian, who has been focussed not only on training in the last few days, but also on giving advice to all triathletes coming to her home place on how to enjoy the island for a few days.
Strangely for her, Duffy won’t be wearing the golden No. 1 bib here, as she crashed in the first WTS of the season in Abu Dhabi, but will give it all to leave Bermuda with the winner trophy.
That number golden number 1 swim cap will be this time for Rachel Klamer, who earned her first-ever WTS victory in Abu Dhabi, and who is more than willing to prove that that was not by chance. Over the Olympic distance, the Dutch will be able to show her bike skills and her improved run that put her as one of the ones to watch in Bermuda.
Excitement is probably the feeling most of the athletes have with the challenging and impressive course around Hamilton, proving that new cities are always welcomed by triathletes. “I”m super excited to be racing at a new venue and a place I’ve never been that looks gorgeous. It’s made even more meaningful because my family will be there watching, plus my dad, my husband Tommy, and my uncle will all be racing in the morning before the elite races,” explained Katie Zaferes (USA), herself one of the favorites to be in the top group. The tough bike course will be indeed the perfect scenario for the American to try to push for a breakaway. Read the complete preview at Triathlon.org.
Fifty-two men will be toeing the start line in Hamilton, for a swim in the crystal clear turquoise Atlantic, followed by a bike leg over steep hills and along beautiful stretches of picturesque coastline.
One of the ones to watch this Saturday will be Henri Schoeman. The South African, who will be wearing the golden number 1, is on fire this season, after claiming the victory in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast only three weeks ago, and claiming also the first WTS of the season, with a solid win in Abu Dhabi. “I’m excited to race in a new country and on a new course,” he told ITU a few days before the race. “I believe it’s going to be a difficult bike and run course which I think is great! I’ve had a great start to the season and I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, I’m just going to enjoy it and give it my best.”
Schoeman showed both in Abu Dhabi and in Gold Coast that his biking skills, especially when raining, are impressive, and might be of great use also in Bermuda, where the weather forecast at the moment show high possibilities of rain during race day.
Spaniard Mario Mola, current double world champion, is also “really looking forward this race, on a new venue and on a place where I’ve never been before. I am very happy with my training those last weeks, I had some solid blocks of training after Abu Dhabi, and I’m confident that I can perform as I want and execute a great race in Bermuda,” he explained from the airport hours before landing in the tiny island. Mola finished in second place in Abu Dhabi, but hasn’t raced since then and has instead been focused on training.
Mola will lead a strong Spanish squad, with Fernando Alarza and Uxio Abuin Ares toeing the start line with him. Read the complete preview at Triathlon.org.
How to Watch
The races will take place at ideal times in the United States. The men will compete at 1:06 p.m. local time (9:06 a.m. PST/12:06 p.m. EST) with the women following at 4:06 p.m. local time (12:06 p.m. PST/3:06 p.m. EST). Follow the action online at Triathlonlive.tv and on Twitter @Triathlonlive.