By Chelsea White on 22/11/16 at 8:00 am
The 2016 triathlon season was a year that the world will never forget. From the World Triathlon Series, World Cups, World Championships and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it was a busy year that produced nothing short of unbelievable moments.
So what moments stood out the most?
Over the next few weeks we will be naming the “Best of 2016” moments from the year, anything from top performances to inspirational finishes, because when you have a year like we just had, you have to celebrate it.
Women’s Bike: Flora Duffy (BER) in Cape Town, Stockholm and Cozumel
Duffy started out this “Best of” series by earning the first honour for her swim performance in Cape Town this year. Well, Cape Town was a significant race for the Bermudian, because it was during that same race where she can attribute this week’s honour: Best Women’s Bike! It would be hard to forget her amazing ride during the third WTS race of 2016. After exiting the water as the swim leader about 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, Duffy went on to mount her bike and ride the 20-kilometre spint course… solo! The chasers eventually did catch up to her just before the second transition, but her efforts caught up and it earned her a bronze medal!
But Duffy’s impressive riding does not stop there in Cape Town. With a feeling of déjà vu, Duffy found herself in a solo ride again in Stockholm. While she left the first transition with about 5 riders in line, her swift cycling was too much for the pack and she zoomed away to continue the course alone. This time however, her efforts on the bike proved to be worthwhile as she went on to win the race and earn her first WTS gold.
And to top off an incredible season for Duffy, she displayed the perfect race in the Cozumel Grand Final to win the World Championship! Part of that perfect race came from her bike leg. Duffy is easily one of the strongest cyclists in the elite field right now, and that ride in Cozumel showcased that right! She was able to pull Brits Lucy Hall and Jessica Learmonth away in a three-man pack to gain enough of a lead on USA’s Gwen Jorgensen, where Jorgensen was unable to catch her on the run. It was Duffy’s riding that played a huge role in winning the 2016 World Crown!
Honorable Mention: Gwen Jorgensen (USA) in Rio Olympic Games
Jorgensen said all year long that her goal was to win an Olympic gold medal, and in the Rio de Janeiro Games, she accomplished that goal. She executed the perfect race on the day, and that included her cycling. She ended up in the front pack, sticking it out with the best so that she could set herself to put up the real show, which is her strength on the run. But without pushing through and putting up results in the second discipline - on the bike - she might not have been able to get the title she was hoping for.
Honorable Mention: Taylor Knibb (USA) in Stockholm and Montreal World Cup
USA’s Knibb made a name for herself in 2016…. as one to watch! Both in Stockholm and the Montreal World Cup, she showcased that she can ride with the best of the best, Flora Duffy! Knibb also won the Junior World Title this year, so it will be exciting to see what the future brings for this rising star!