October 26, 2014 (Maui, HI) — It was only a little more than a year ago when Flora Duffy finished out of the top five at the XTERRA Mountain Championship and told herself, “never again.”
There was an again, fortunately, at Maui last year where she surprised herself with a 3rd-place finish. After that she went to South Africa – where XTERRA roars – and honed her skills in the craft of mountain biking and the results were remarkable. Combine the fitness she already possessed with some mad skills and Duffy turned into a dominant racer. She won everything except XTERRA Germany, and by big margins.
Nothing could stop her today, not a mechanical, not even a wicked crash that sent her flying into the bushes and ripped holes in her racing kit.
“I crashed so hard, I literally don’t know how I got back on my bike,” said Duffy. “You know how it’s a steep gnarly descent, I hit a root awkwardly and just flew into the trees head first with the bike on top of me. I was lucky I landed in the bushes. Then, five minutes later I had a mechanical. It was a hard day out there.”
It was even harder for all the elite women trying to keep up with Duffy. Last year’s women’s winner Nicky Samuels did her best, but said she lacked the fitness after her break from ITU racing.
“I had a break after the ITU season so I think third is about where my fitness is, and to hold on to third place was good enough for me,” said Samuels. “Flora probably pulled away at the 1k or 2k mark on the bike, so really soon. And I think she was pulling the same ground going down, so huge difference in her bike fitness and mine. Barbara (Riveros) passed me on the last descent and then pulled away.”
In the men’s race, XTERRA icon Josiah Middaugh fought a hard battle against eventual winner Ruben Ruzafa. Here are a some of Middaugh’s thoughts on the day:
“You know, it feels good because I did everything that I could do today. I feel like I pulled out all my stops in my training and I put together the perfect race for me. You can’t control what other people do. Ruben was stronger today and I feel like I had the best race I’ve ever had here.
“Ruben was unbelievably tough. He had a little over two minutes going into the run, and I knew if I had a chance I would have to take a minute in the first half of the run. I tried as hard as I could to take it back but he was climbing just as fast as I was climbing and I was going for it, so yeah, he was super strong. I run downhill faster than he does and I knew I could make up a minute but I was just too far back.”
Top 10 Women
|1||Flora Duffy||27||Devonshire, Bermuda||2:47:59||$20,000|
|2||Barbara Riveros||27||Wollongong, Chile||2:50:04||$12,000|
|3||Nicky Samuels||31||Wanaka, New Zealand||2:56:31||$7,000|
|4||Emma Garrad||33||Park City, Utah||2:56:54||$4,000|
|5||Helena Erbenova||35||Jablonec Nad Nisou, Czech Republic||2:57:56||$2,500|
|6||Suzie Snyder||32||Fredericksburg, Virginia||2:59:53||$1,500|
|7||Charlotte McShane||34||Mount Taylor, Australia||3:02:59||$1,000|
|8||Melanie McQuaid||41||Victoria, Canada||3:03:17||$800|
|9||Jacqui Slack||31||Stoke On Trent, Great Britain||3:03:45||$600|
|10||Carina Wasle||30||Kundl, Austria||3:04:54||$500|
Top 10 Men
|1||Ruben Ruzafa||30||Malaga, Spain||2:29:56||$20,000|
|2||Josiah Middaugh||36||Vial, Colorado||2:31:11||$12,000|
|3||Ben Allen||29||North Wollongong, Australia||2:34:50||$7,000|
|4||Dan Hugo||29||Stellenbosch, South Africa||2:36:28||$4,000|
|5||Mauricio Mendez||19||Mexico City, Mexico||2:38:55||$2,500|
|6||Bart Aernouts||30||Merksem, Belgium||2:38:56||$1,500|
|7||Conrad Stoltz||41||Stellenbosch, South Africa||2:38:57||$1,000|
|8||Michael Weiss||33||Gumpoldskirchen, Austria||2:39:06||$800|
|9||Rom Akerson||30||Paquera, Costa Rica||2:39:40||$600|
|10||Bradley Weiss||25||Stellenbosch, South Africa||2:40:09||$500|
|Dan||Hugo||STELLENBOSCH RSA and BOULDER||M||29||PR||2:36:28|
|Flora||Duffy||DEVONSHIRE BER and BOULDER||F||27||PR||2:47:59|