American Katie Zaferes arrived in Bermuda wearing the golden number 1 reserved for the Series leader, and she proved that she is determined to get the world title this season by producing an impressive performance that saw her dominating the field in the MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda from beginning to end. Behind her in the finish line were British Jessica Learmonth and Canadian Joanna Brown, claiming the first ever WTS podium of her career.
“I am very happy that I had a better swim than last year”, said Zaferes after crossing the finish line. “Inspired by Flora on her race last race, I just wanted to commit in the first few laps. We just kept pushing in the ten laps, which put us in a great position for the run”, she explained.
With local hero Flora Duffy out of the race due to an injury, the field was more open than ever. And the race started with an impressive downpour that forced the girls to swim in extremely hard conditions, with choppy water and strong currents due to the wind, but it looked like Jessica Learmonth, Vicky Holland (GBR) and Maja Kingma (NED) handle it really easy. The three of them lead an small group with some other strong swimmers, including Americans Zaferes, Summer Rappaport, Tamara Gorman and Taylor Spivey, staying together heading to the slippery transition.
Holland, Learmonth, Zaferes and Lotte Miller (NOR) were the best ones getting out of the wet blue carpet, and they pushed really hard in the first climb up Corkscrew Hill, in what it looked like a river instead of a road, with a stream of water making it extremely complicated to go up, and even harder to do down. But ended up being easier for them than for the large chase group, which slowed down in every technical corner of the circuit to avoid crashes.
The group of four looked determined and worked together in the first laps, but with seven climbs to go, Holland dropped dramatically, loosing 54 seconds in just a few kilometers and being trapped by the chasers, leaving Learmonth, Zaferes and Miller on their own, increasing the gap lap after lap.
Behind them, the group of chasers had 15 riders, which made it complicated, but quickly Joanna Brown took the lead and tried to organise the chase. She didn’t have much luck, and by the end of the 40km bike Zaferes, Learmonth and Miller had a lead of two and a half minutes.
Zaferes didn’t have the best transition on record, and lost a few seconds in the start of the run, but she quickly chased down Learmonth and Miller, and as soon as she passed by them she kept increasing the distance, with the golden medal on sight. Behind her, Learmonth looked strong in the second place, but Miller kept looking back, knowing that she had some strong runners on her heels. And indeed she had.
In the last lap, Joanna Brown flied past her to get herself in a third position that she will keep until crossing the finish line, with Austrian Lisa Perterer finishing in another historic fourth place for her. The Norwegian ended up in 8th place, being passed in the last kilometer by Georgia Tylor-Brown (GBR), Taylor Spivey (USA) and Angelica Olmo (ITA).