A year ago we watched Flora Duffy and Taylor Knibb ride away from the field in Montreal. They did it again in Edmonton last weekend. Will we see it again in Montreal this weekend?
August 4, 2017 | NEWS|
Can you imagine what it was like for Taylor Knibb last year at the Montreal World Cup? Just 18 years old, competing in her first World Cup event and, early in the race, she finds herself riding along with the World Triathlon Series (WTS) leader Flora Duffy. The two worked together and pulled away from the rest of the women in the field before Duffy decided it was time to head off on her own over the closing stages of the ride. Knibb would come off the bike in second, well ahead of the main chase group, and eventually hold on for third, taking the final step on the podium in her first world cup event. (Aussie Ashleigh Gentle managed to run her down for the silver.)
For those of us who saw that race last year, the women's WTS event in Edmonton last weekend looked remarkably similar, with a few small changes: Knibb is a year older and stronger both on the bike and in the run. In Edmonton last weekend she stayed with Duffy for a bit longer on the bike and was able to hold off the rest of the women in the field on the run, taking her first Worlld Triathlon Series medal in the process.
It would appear that Duffy and Knibb were just perfecting their routine for tomorrow's debut WTS event in Montreal. Of course the rest of the women in the field will do everything they can to prevent that from happening again, but it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see the two do everything they can to get away on the technical Montreal course that takes in spectacular Old Montreal and features climbs, narrow roads and even cobblestones. Sound like the kind of course an Xterra world champ might like? Yeah, we think so, too.
Of course American Katie Zaferes will do everything she can to stay with Duffy (and possibly Knibb) out on the bike course. The previous WTS leader was with the two speedy cyclists heading up the first climb in Edmonton, but missed their break and would eventually finish third. Last year's silver medalist Ashleigh Gentle didn't race in Edmonton, so presumably arrives with fresh legs ready to contend for the win. American Kirsten Kasper sits third in the overall WTS standings and will also be one to watch.
A stacked field is on hand to contest Montreal's inaugural WTS race. Will it turn into a two-woman show? Duffy is after her fifth straight win in the series, so it would seem a bit crazy to bet against her, but as she was quick to point out last weekend in Edmonton, she's taking none of those wins for granted and, week in and week out on the WTS, you face some of the best athletes in the world.
You can watch the live coverage of tomorrow's race on TriathlonLive and we will post a recap and photos right here on TriathlonWorld.com, too.