Flora Duffy three-peats as Xterra World Champion 2016 in Maui
Traversing tough terrain in Maui, Hawaii on the world’s premier off-road triathlon, Flora Duffy became a 3-time world champion at the 2016 Xterra World Championship.
Over 1.5km of swimming, 32km of mountain biking with 3,500 feet elevation on the West Maui Mountains, and 10.5km of trail running through forest trails and beach sand, Duffy successfully defended the Xterra World Championships which she won in both 2015 and 2014.
Duffy completely dominated her rivals by finishing in 3:14:59, 10 minutes ahead of second place finisher Lesley Paterson.
“This was the most brutal conditions I’ve ever faced in XTERRA. It’s a totally different climate and the mud sticks to your bike and covers everything. My bike must have weighed 10 extra pounds and the mud clogged my pulley wheels and made it hard to shift gears. At any time my bike could have slipped out of gear and it could have cost me 8 minutes,” said Duffy.
Duffy has also won the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships recently, and holds the world champion title in both road and off-road triathlon across two different legions.
“It was pretty cool to win the ITU and XTERRA World Championships in one year – and it was a great motivator to keep me focused at the end of the year,” continued Duffy.
Young off-road triathlon star Mauricio Mendez of Mexico won the men’s title finishing in 2:49:39, just clearing off two minutes of his closest rivals in the final kilometers.
“It was amazing how it all came together today. I have admired Ruben for a long time. He is a great athlete and an amazing person. At the finish he told me he was happy I was the person to beat him. That was one of the greatest feelings ever in my life – that a person like that was telling me such a thing,” Mendez told Slowtwitch.
Mendez came out of the swim in 3rd place, 24 seconds behind the leader, and then fought hard to stay within 2:28 of Ruzafa’s race-best mountain bike leg. On his way to a race-best 42:45 trail run, Mendez passed Ruzafa at the crest of a final hill just 2 kilometers from the finish. After cruising to the finish in 2:49:39, Mendez enjoyed a 1:24 margin of victory over Ruzafa and 4:11 over 3rd-place Ben Allen of Australia.
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