Flora fever helped to generate an unforgettable atmosphere at the World Triathlon Series in Bermuda, one of the sport’s top writers has said.
Liz Hichens, senior digital editor of Triathlete magazine, gave a glowing review of the island’s efforts in its hosting of the event last month.
Thousands of people lined the streets to cheer Flora Duffy as she raced to a sensational win on home soil.
The victory came after she won gold in the triathlon at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Duffy notched up yet another big win on Friday night at World Triathlon Yokohama, in Japan, which propelled her to the top of the ITU WTS table.
Ms Hichens wrote: “I settled in at The Dog House and enjoyed a post-race meal before watching the elite men’s swim from the bar — yes, triathlon was on every television.
“Then I hopped out to the sidewalk to watch the bike and run. I repeated this same sequence to watch the women’s race.
“The crowd had grown exponentially by then, with everyone pumped to watch their home-town hero race on Bermudian roads — it was an experience I’ll never forget.
“How often do you get to see thousands of people get so excited about triathlon?
“Bonus: Bermuda’s own Flora Duffy is the best female triathlete in the world and every Bermudian is super stoked about it.
“Almost the entire country came out to cheer her on and it’s a sight every triathlete will appreciate.
Ms Hichens admitted: “Yes, I cried with the crowd when she won.”
Ms Hichens also took part in the age-group ITU WTS Bermuda race as an amateur while on the island.
She said: “It was awesome. Like many ITU-affiliated events, this event won’t be around for ever.
“This was the first of a three-year agreement that will see Bermuda on the race calendar as part of the World Triathlon Series circuit.”
She added: “The vacation part of the ‘race-cation’ idea should be the main reason you head to this event.
“The island of Bermuda is only 20.6 square miles, but it’s a unique country full of beauty and culture, and 65,000 residents who welcome tourists with open arms.
“So often the triathlons that take place in amazing places are relegated off the beaten path to avoid costly road closures in busy tourist locations.
“The majority of the WTS Bermuda action, including the entire run, takes place right on the iconic Front Street.”