Bermuda’s golden girl, Flora Duffy, has taken to Instagram this week to voice her disappointment at missing out on racing at Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant over the weekend.
Now Covid-free and in fighting shape, Duffy had planned to put it all on the line in an attempt to quality for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships before the qualification window closes in under two weeks.
Taking off from Denver with Air CanadaMontreal in her sights, Duffy discovered upon landing that her bike and disc wheel had not been packed onto the plane by airline personnel.
The decorated athlete took to Instagram to voice her confusion, then disappointment at having to miss what was a crucial race for her racing season.
“I did not start Mont Tremblant 70.3 this morning, my bike did not arrive…my bags made it but my bike and disc wheel did not.”
The next day her disc wheel arrived in the early hours ahead of the race, but still there was no bike to be seen.
“The airport was absolute chaos, there’s just bags everywhere. It’s crazy”, expresses Duffy in a later Instagram video.
“There was no bike so I couldn’t start the race. People ask why I didn’t borrow a bike. To be honest there wasn’t that much time to try to sort out a bike, then of course you need shoes, cleats, pedals, dialing the position.
“And I was just not comfortable riding a piece of equipment that was that foreign to me for 90km. I know my body and I know that would not be a good thing for me in the long run.
“And then running a half marathon off of riding a position that I was not comfortable in, I knew that would lead to bigger problems. That was just too much of a risk for me. And to be honest we did not have enough time to dial all that in because it actually takes a lot more work than just finding a bike.
“It’s very disappointing to me because This was a big goal of mine this year to qualify for the 70.3 World Champs post-Olympics. I was really looking forward to mixing up my racing and exploring some long course.
“I’ve tried twice now twice to qualify: I tried in Chattanooga [Ironman 70.3] But I picked up Covid and could not start, and now my bike doesn’t arrive for Mont Tremblant and the qualification period ends in two weeks.”
The triathlon champion looks deflated, adding “That’s my attempt at 70.3 Words done, but I guess I’ll try again next year.”
Duffy goes on to congratulate all who did manage to stand at the start line and thank those that greeted her around the event venue. She’ll be sticking to Olympic-distance racing for the near future, with her next race set for WTCS Hamburg in just two weeks.
Georgia Taylor-Brown loses kit in transit
This is not an isolated incident, though. More stories have come to light over the past few days of elite athletes being separated from their luggage or important race equipment, putting their race prospects in jeopardy. One of these such athletes was GB’s Olympic star, Georgia Taylor-Brown.
As she took off for Montreal ahead of the weekend’s racing with medals for the WTCS eliminator eventTaylor-Brown was bemused to find her apple air tracker indicating that her bag had never actually left the Heathrow Terminal.
That soon turned to panic as the silver Olympic medallist landed on Canadian soil without her luggage and was forced to source a new set of kit in a matter of hours ahead of the race.
Taylor-Brown says that the bag full of precious race kit in fact never left Heathrow for Canada. Now home after having won the race despite using borrowed kitthere’s still no sign of her luggage as Taylor-Brown desperately reaches out on both her Instagram stories and posts to get a hold of the airline or airport.
“Thank you for all your messages over the past week; congratulations for the race & concerns and support about my suitcase!
“@aircanada were completely useless and we still haven’t been able to get in touch with them, so my bag remains somewhere in T2 @heathrow_airport, a week after it should have left.
“But my sponsors @iamspecialized_tri & @newbalance were straight on it and had kit delivered to me within 24 hours so I want to say THANK YOU to them! I couldn’t have raced without them!!!
“And also to the staff & athletes at @brittri for lending me kit, taking control and making it a lot less stressful!”
Air Canada was approached for comments with no response.
Top image: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images for ITU