The Olympic women’s race did not disappoint. After a 15-minute delay for weather, the women gritted out a rainy, wet, slippery, crash-filled race—and a flawless Flora Duffy emerged as the obvious winner, running away from the bike breakaway she had been a part of leading since T1.
Read the full race recap here, and see how it all played out below.
The start of the women’s race was delayed 15 minutes as the athletes waited for a deluge of rain to pass. The typhoon had been downgraded to a tropical storm, but staff and volunteers still needed to dry out and clear as much water from the carpeting on the bike course as possible beforehand.
Before the start, the athletes huddled in jackets and raincoats trying to stay warm and dry. But once the gun went off, they were ready to dive into Tokyo Bay.
The 1500m swim was two laps in the warm water of Tokyo Bay, just off Odaiba Park. It was quickly strung by super swimmer Jessica Learmonth off the front with a core group of heavy hitters sticking with her.
The front group that got out of the swim together managed to leave T1 intact and stay away on the turn-ridden, slippery bike course.
There were a handful of crashes on the eight-lap 40K bike, with over a dozen athletes getting lapped or failing to finish.
The rain was on and off throughout the race, making for tough conditions.
Flora Duffy of Bermuda, Katie Zaferes of the U.S., and Georgia Taylor-Brown of Team and Jessica Learmonth from Great Britain led the charge on the bike and stayed away all day.
In her 5th Olympics, Nicola Spirig charged hard at the front of the chase group, but was never able to get the gap under a minute. She eventually still managed to run her way into 6th.
On the run, Flora Duffy and Katie Zaferes quickly pulled away.
A flat entering T2 left Georgia Taylor-Brown a bit over 30 seconds down starting the run, but she never gave up—working her way up through the group and eventually into second, which she held onto to the line.
After four Olympics and a long career of ups and downs, an emotional Flora Duffy won the first gold medal in any sport for Bermuda.
Competitors know what the other had to go through to get here. Duffy cheers on a third-place Katie Zaferes at the finish.
The trio of Duffy, Taylor-Brown, and Zaferes congratulate and support each other.
Your 2020/2021 Olympic podium.