Months of racing all year long have all come down to the final and most anticipated race of the 2017 season, the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam. A roster of 49 of the best women triathletes in the world have made their way to Holland to compete in the last WTS race of the season, where the title of World Champion will be crowned.
Debuting Rotterdam as a first-time WTS host, the women will battle it out on a unique and technical course that features two transition areas and a standard 1500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike and ten-kilometre run.
The women’s field features a close and tight overall Series podium that will all come down to the final finishing moments before it is known who will take the final three spots of the year.
It is only going to take a seventh place finish for Flora Duffy (BER) to become the ITU WTS World champion for a second year in a row. She enters the Grand Final in Rotterdam with a perfect tally of points with 4000, due to her five win she has collected throughout the year. The five wins that came from Yokohama, Leeds, Hamburg, Edmonton and Stockholm made for a historical season for Duffy as she became only the second woman in ITU history to win five races in a single season. She also collected some other records along the way from her dominating 2017 season, such as the longest winning margin for a WTS victory, which was 1:51 in Yokohama. While she may have missed the first two races of the season due to injury, Duffy returned and has conquered ever since, never missing the podium in every race she has contended in. She is easily the frontunner to take the world honour on Saturday, if all conditions can play in her favour.
However, triathlon is a sport that is always unpredictable and so nothing is secured until the finish line is crossed, a statement that Aussie Ashleigh Gentle knows all too well to be true. She has had a very up and down season due to uncontrollable circumstances such as illnesses. But, she has also proven that she excels in all the circumstances that she is dealt, such as after fighting a cold she went on to win her first-career WTS win in Montreal. The victory, along with her three other podiums in the season from Gold Coast, Hamburg and Stockholm has put her second in the overall rankings heading into the Grand Final 493 points behind Duffy.
Kiwi Andrea Hewitt is another woman who has had some inconsistencies in her season, but she had put forth some results in the moments where it…