|This week’s guest on The Game Changers podcast is the extraordinarily talented Lauren Steadman.|
A paratriathlon World Champion and Paralympic silver medallist, Lauren enthralled the nation last year when she made it to the semi-finals of BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
I’m not supposed to have favourites… but this is definitely one of my favourite interviews from The Game Changers.
Lauren is so open and honest about her life and the challenges she’s faced – from dealing with her disability as a young schoolgirl, through to coping with public disappointment on the global sports stage.
She’s overcome so much and is now inspiring others with her amazing sporting achievements and all she does to give back to society.
This is a must listen for anyone looking for a brilliant sports story. I’m excited to follow Lauren’s future progress as she works towards her ultimate goal of winning Paralympic Gold at Tokyo in 2020.
You can find The Game Changers podcast in all the usual places – iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher etc.
|Listen to the NEW PODCAST here|
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this second series of The Game Changers.
All the podcasts remain free to listen to, featuring female trailblazers in sport: Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE, Clare Balding OBE, Anna Kessel MBE, Dame Katherine Grainger, Karen Findlay, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Jo Bostock OBE, Denise Lewis OBE, Joanna Adams, Liz Nicholl CBE, Clare Connor CBE, Sally Munday OBE, Maggie Alphonsi MBE, Pamela Cookey and Chrissie Wellington OBE.
And finally, if you have enjoyed The Game Changers, please take a moment to rate the podcasts on iTunes – here.
Thank you so much for listening.
Sue Anstiss MBE
CEO, Promote PR and host of The Game Changers podcast
The countdown is on with just 48 hours until race weekend, but who will come out on top according to SLT Co-Founder and Ironman World Champion, Chris McCormack?
This weekend will see the next action-packed instalment of Super League Triathlon (SLT) in Birgu & Bormla, Malta – the league’s second visit to the stunning Mediterranean island. The big names in triathlon are back to fight for the top spot of the Championship Series leaderboard.
With curve balls thrown at RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey a few weeks ago resulting in France’s Cassandre Beaugrand overtaking 2018 SLT Champion Katie Zaferes to claim victory, and Pierre Le Corre almost swooping in on Vincent Luis to steal the crown in a battle of the French, those wanting to watch ‘trivalry’ at its finest in Malta will not be disappointed. South African duo Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray are back to fighting fitness and ready to put Luis through his paces in the men’s racing, whilst reigning Katie Zaferes will return hungry for a win.
SLT Co-Founder and Ironman World Champion Chris “Macca” McCormack shares his picks for glory as we head into the next race of the season.
|On Reigning SLT Champion, Katie Zaferes (USA):|
“I expect Katie to come out at this event in devastating form. This is a strength course and she was pushed here last year by her American peers, in Summer Rappaport and Kirsten Kasper, but I feel this year she could shine even more with the bike TT. Katie is built for this style of racing. She is the gold standard and will be tough to beat.”
|On 2018 SLT Runner-up, Rachel Klamer (NED):|
“If [Rachel] wants to win this race, she needs to go from defensive athlete to offensive. This is what we saw in Jersey in her dominant Semi-Final race. She needs to let her strengths flow and go for it and throw caution to the wind at some point on the bike or run, and be the setter of pace, not the follower of it. That requires a lot of mental faith and a change in attitude.
“She has the form to do it, the question is now does she have the courage to back that? If she does, she can win this race.”
|On Reigning SLT Champion, Vincent Luis (FRA):|
“In SLT racing, where mistakes are punished and strategic racing alongside athlete’s physicality and skill is the benchmark, right now Vincent sets the bar, and the rest are looking at how to dislodge him.
“The course in Malta suits him perfectly. Even the bike TT against the data-proven stronger athletes will not be enough. He is too balanced, cunning and firing to be upset.
“It will take some serious belief from a competitor to disrupt this flow, and the question needs to be asked, does anyone in the field have the courage, conviction and belief to go after that and roll him?”
|On 2018 SLT Runner-up, Henri Schoeman (RSA):|
“Henri is as balanced and as technically proficient as Vincent, but lacks the knockout punch to put Vincent on the canvas. He has been on the receiving end of too much punishment from Vincent, and coming in to this series off some sickness and season issues, is not the best head space or physicality Henri needs to beat him.
“Look for Henri to be in the mix, and with the Semi-Finals not requiring him to go as deep into the red zone on the Saturday, it might give him some of that additional punch he has lacked when he has had to back up on events.
“He should podium. Can he win? He has to work to distance himself from Vincent, or be aggressive immediately on the run, and throw caution to the wind.”
|Cassandre Beaugrand produced a stunning performance to take the weekend win in a weather-affected RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey 2019 Final. With the decision taken to drop the bike leg from the race due to 50mph winds, and conditions too poor to even allow for four continuous rounds of swim-run, the women’s field tackled three back-to-back bouts of swim-run.|
Beaugrand, yesterday’s Semi-Final Group A winner, utterly dominated the race from the first swim, extending an early lead into the run and never wavering her position. World Champion Katie Zaferes (USA) fought her way to a comfortable second place while Day 1 Semi-Finals winner, Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer, rounded off the podium. The fight to fourth place was a photo-finish between Great Britain’s Vicky Holland USA’s Taylor Spivey, with Holland just edging ahead of the American.
Following the dominance of France’s Beaugrand in the Women’s Final, it was a French connection at the top of the Men’s Final podium, with yesterday’s Group A winner Vincent Luis (FRA) and his compatriot Pierre Le Corre (FRA) storming ahead to lead the field for the entirety of the race.
As with the first race of the day, the unsettled weather conditions meant there was no bike leg in the Enduro, but having improved sufficiently since the women’s race to have four continuous swim-runs, Luis and Le Corre started hard and asserted their dominance.
Despite sticking together for the swims and runs, Luis was always in control; and with the advantage of his Short Chute still in the bag, the defending Champion broke away on the final run lap to beat his fellow Frenchman by five seconds. Crowd favourite Hayden “The Maltese Falcon” Wilde (NZL) crossed the line in third place, with USA’s Ben Kanute outrunning France’s Léo Bergere in a sprint finish for fourth.
WOMEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
|1. Cassandre Beaugrand – (FRA) – #03 – (33:48)|
2. Katie Zaferes – (USA) – #01 – (33:56)
3. Rachel Klamer – (NED) – #02 – (34:05)
4. Vicky Holland – (GBR) – #34 – (34:12)
5. Taylor Spivey – (USA) – #04 – (34:12)
6. Sandra Dodet – (FRA) – #11 – (34:31)
7. Sophie Coldwell – (GBR) – #32 – (34:39)
8. Olivia Mathias – (GBR) – #14 – (34:51)9. Carolina Routier – (ESP) – #37 – (34:57)
10. Vittoria Lopes – (BRA) – #43 – (35:18)
11. Luisa Baptista – (BRA) – #42 – (DNF)
12. Emma Jeffcoat – (AUS) – #09 – (DNF)
13. Annamaria Mazzetti – (ITA) – #55 – (DNF)
14. Yuko Takahashi – (JPN) – #08 – (DNF)
15. Emilie Morier – (FRA) – #53 – (DNF)
|MEN’S FINAL RESULTS:|
|1. Vincent Luis – (FRA) – #01 – (41:05)|
2. Pierre Le Corre – (FRA) – #11 – (41:10)
3. Hayden Wilde – (NZL) – #08 0 (41:55)
4. Ben Kanute – (USA) – #07 – (42:10)
5. Léo Bergere – (FRA) – #06 – (42:11)
6. Aaron Royle – (AUS) – #55 – (42:14)
7. Mario Mola – (ESP) – #38 0 (42:40)
8. Marten Van Riel – (BEL) – #30 (43:58)9. Kristian Blummenfelt – (NOR) – #32 – (DNF)
10. Anthony Pujades – (FRA) – #13 – (DNF)
11. Gustav Iden – (NOR) – #33 – (DNF)
12. Aiden Longcroft-Harris – (CAN) – #18 – (DNF)
13. Constantine Doherty – (IRL) – #50 – (DNF)
14. Jonas Schomburg – (GER) – #09 – (DNF)
15. Jonathan Brownlee – (GBR) – #03 – (DNF)
|COLOURED JERSEY HOLDERS (AFTER DAY 2):Blue (Fastest Swim): Sophie Coldwell (GBR) / Aiden Longcroft-Harris (CAN)Green (Fastest Bike): Luisa Baptista (BRA) / Hayden Wilde (NZL)Red (Fastest Run): Katie Zaferes (USA) / Hayden Wilde (NZL)Grey (Fastest Transition): Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) / Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) |
RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey 2019 winner Cassandre Beaugrand said: “I really enjoyed it. It was very cold, but I think it was better with a swim and a run. The third time round was very difficult but at the beginning it was good.
“I think it’s a good format for me because it’s very speedy.
“I am very excited for Malta – and with the good weather.”
Reigning SLT Champion and RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey 2019 winner Vincent Luis said: “We just wanted to bring the pink jersey back to France. Pierre and I were the same and we just want the pink jersey on some French shoulders… and with Cassandre on the women’s side, it was good to have both men and women. By the end, I knew I had the short chute and I can push hard and take it at the end.”
Reigning SLT Champion, World Champion and today’s runner-up Katie Zaferes said: “It was super difficult. I set myself up well with the first swim but coming up on the ramp, I just kept slipping and ended up being almost last out of the water by the end of it.
“I am proud of how I fought for it. Cassandre is a very hard person to chase down and as I was chasing her down I was trying not to get chased down by the others.
“I am super pleased. It was such a hard race to do and I am proud of how we were all able to adapt to the different race scenarios and I thought it was still an amazing race.”
Pierre Le Corre admitted he knew he couldn’t beat Luis on the day but was delighted to come second. He said: “I never thought I was going to beat Vincent. Already on the run I told Vincent ‘I was not going to let you win but obviously you are better than me today’ and he had the Short Chute so I knew I was not going to be five or ten seconds better than him on the last lap – so my job was to stay on his feet as long as possible.
“It’s great for me because Vincent is the World Champion and to stay on his feet all the way through is important for me.”
After her third-place finish today, yesterday’s Semi-Finals Group B winner Rachel Klamer said: “I am definitely pleased. It has been a little bit windy which was actually quite fun.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get to ride but it would have been dangerous and you could feel the wind even on the run. I was getting so close to Katie but not close enough and towards the end, my calf started cramping up a little bit. I looked behind at where Vicky was and I was clear – I wanted to get to Katie but she was so strong but I am so happy with my third place.”
Following on from his third-place finish today, Semi-Finals Group B winner Hayden Wilde said: “I’m absolutely stoked – I came in here with an open mind. The bike was gone and I had the green jersey for the reason of biking so to have four good legs in the swim and come in third – it was unexpected.
“I’m stoked to come home with a third place.”
Visit the website for the full Day 2 race reports.
|Super League Triathlon (SLT) is set to continue its exciting growth, after today confirming a new and expanded Championship Series for 2019/20.|
After a stellar two years helping to redefine the sport of triathlon, SLT will shortly reveal a host of new races and venues, as the most action-packed and lucrative series in the history of triathlon accelerates its dramatic development.
The 2019/20 Championship Series will kick-off at the end of the month with the first in Jersey on 28-29 September, followed by Malta on 19-20 October. There will then be a pause to allow athletes to concentrate on the Olympics before a further seven races in 2020.
In addition, there will also be a raft of new Qualifier races in the first half of 2020.
|Super League Triathlon’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael D’Hulst, said: “This is a very exciting moment for Super League and the sport of triathlon.|
“We have achieved dramatic growth in a very short space of time, and we are now ready to take SLT to the next level.
“Our desire has always been to build on the amazing success of Super League Triathlon and grow into a bigger Championship Series, and this allows us to fulfil that aim, while also respecting the desire of athletes to compete in the Olympics.
“The 2019/20 Championship Series will straddle the Olympics and will give fans of the sport even more exciting and captivating races than ever before, while athletes will gain massively both in terms of worldwide exposure and the chance to earn huge prize purses.
“There is no doubt that this is an important moment for our sport and we are committed to delivering the most exciting and lucrative Championship Series in the sport’s history in 2019/20 and beyond.”
|This year’s Jersey and Malta races will serve as the start of the 2019/20 Championship Series with another five races to come between August-November 2020 to wrap up the season.|
There are also set to be five Qualifiers earlier in 2020 to allow athletes the chance to win a place in the rest of the Series. As a result, the 2019/20 Championship Series table will take into account an athlete’s top six results over the course of the entire season, meaning even new Qualifiers have the opportunity to win the title and coveted contracts.
|Two-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee and ETU Triathlon European Championships winner Sophie Coldwell were special guests at the RBC event, sharing their insights and experiences of Super League Triathlon. |
On preparing for the new season, Jonny Brownlee said: “It’s my third year of racing Super League and it’s why I still love the sport. Triathlon has come a long way since I started. London 2012 was a huge chance to showcase the sport, and SLT is an extension of that. It’s a game-changing format – it’s almost as though the rules of triathlon have been thrown up in the air. The fact that you can change the format, the way it’s watched… it’s incredible.
“In training, I’ve been doing shorter, faster stuff to get ready for Super League, because it’s something I want to win. It’s the best all-round athlete who wins and as a competitor, that’s the title you want to hold.”
On the news of an expanded Championship Series, Sophie Coldwell said: “Expanding the Super League season is great for us as athletes, it’s great for the locations, and it’s great for triathlon as a whole. If the sport can be fed to more places, more people, more children, then that’s brilliant. And for us as competitors, it’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to have more races at this level.”
After Krissy Moehl (2003 and 2009), Nikki Kimball (2007), and Rory Bosio (2013 and 2014), late afternoon yesterday Courtney Dauwalter became the 4th American to win in Chamonix, with a time of 24 hours, 34 minutes. The latter, already victorious at the beginning of the year at the Tarawera UltraMarathon and the Madeira Island Ultra-Trail® in May, had to drop from Western States at the end of June, when she had already cruised into the lead. One hip injured, she had to drop out, allowing time to heal up before embarking for Chamonix for the first time in her career.
She played a waiting game, letting China’s Miao Yao, winner of the CCC® last year, to try her hand at a higher-level adventure this year. Leaving town to the sounds of beating of drums, the young Chinese runner unfortunately had to drop at the top of Grand Col Ferret, after a little over 103 km of racing. It left the field wide open for Dauwalter, who was hiding behind, and who would ultimately experience the full range of challenges during the race, including crushing fatigue at Champex-Lac (km 123). Suffering from heat exhaustion, Dauwalter stopped a long time at the aid station, vomiting before somehow managing to start again, still with a comfortable lead of nearly 45 minutes on her pursuer at that moment, the Swede Mimmi Kotka. Digging deep to find new power, Dauwalter, 34, got her second wind, and proved beyond reach, arriving in Chamonix for a crowning achievement in her first appearance. Mimmi Kotka, on the other hand, experienced the flip story. Her second half proved a long ordeal, keeping her off the podium (20th woman). Another Swede, in the form of Kristin Berglund, would seize the opportunity to leave anonymity behind, finishing 2nd in 25:34 of this 2019 edition. Maïté Maiora (ESP) finished the race in 3rd position, in a time of 25:41.
It was said that no podium was out of reach for Spain during these 2019 UTMB races. Indeed, among the 100 countries represented, Spain was the big winner in this 2019 edition, which included no fewer than 10,000 competitors taking the start of the different races.
The Spanish attack began Wednesday night on the TDS® (145km / 9100m D +), with the victory of Pablo Villa, the fastest of the 1600 entrants. His win came on a longer and steeper course than prior editions, thanks to a new section of trail added to the event in the Beaufortain region. Nevertheless, Villa arrived almost an hour ahead of the best predictions. The change of course didn’t seem to bother Audrey Tanguy, defending champion, who was once again victorious for the women, after a splendid and breathtaking battle with American Hillary Allen, who finished 2nd. There’s already a sense of anticipation in the air, as the French trail racer will tackle the flagship UTMB® race, next year..
Spanish dominance continued on Thursday with three-time world champion trailblazer Luis Alberto Hernando, winner of the 2019 CCC® (101km / 6100m D +), who ran without so much of a hint of weakness, winning in 10 hours, 28 minutes, in front of France’s Thibaut Garrivier. Hernando, who had as of yet been unable to add a UTMB event to his record of wins, had finally vanquished bad luck. Spanish resident Ragna Debats (HOL) took the win for the women.
In the end, it was only on the OCC (56km / 3500m D +) where Spain failed to triumph. The country missed a win and a possible Spanish Grand Slam by just 1 minute, 22 seconds to Andreu Simon, the gap separating Spain from Norwegian winner Stian Angermund-Vik. On the women’s side, Azara Garcia (ESP) couldn’t find a way to stop New Zealand’s Ruth Croft from scoring a second consecutive title in the event.
Pau Capell completed the Iberian triumph yesterday at the UTMB® (171km / 10,000m D +), thanks to a strong solo performance that no one could touch, not even Xavier Thévenard, triple winner of the event in search of a 4th title, and ultimately the 2nd-place finisher. It was a result that was hardly a defeat for a runner noted for his humility, and who had given it his entire effort. “Pau had a hell of a performance. I had my own plans. I had expected to finish the race in 21 hours and 10 minutes, and I finished in 21:07. There’s not much to say, except that Pau was entirely untouchable,”nconfided Thevenard. “I’m having one of my best seasons this year, and it was nice to be able to run this year’s UTMB in good weather; we had time to enjoy the mountains. It’s there that one realizes the luck we have to be here, and to be able to contemplate the universe; we must really take care of it, change our habits, accept a bit less comfort to live more simply, to protect this environment, and ensure that future generations can also enjoy it as we do,” concluded Thévenard, in a message of ecological awareness in full agreement with the sustainability policy developed by the event.
The various winners and other notable personalities will not forget that among the highlights was the widespread enthusiasm that brought entertainment and life to the sides of the trails. Under favorable weather to cheer on the exploits of the runners, the crowds of supporters grew as the days went on, reaching its peak Friday and Saturday. The different regions of the three countries through which the races pass (France, Italy, Switzerland) have shown the world their best faces and their great hospitality, reaching attendance rates never before seen; the 20,000 companions to runners and the tens of thousands of spectators have made this 17th edition a moment of sport, sharing, and unforgettable coming together, all amid a magical and good-natured atmosphere.Results: utmbworld.com
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|Super League Triathlon (SLT) returns to Malta in 2019 for another Championship Series event and it’s set to be even bigger and better than before. In what will be the second SLT instalment of the 2019-20 season following on from Super League Jersey (28-29 September), the Mediterranean island will once again host an action-packed triathlon weekend on Saturday 19 October and Sunday 20 October, featuring some of the biggest names in the sport, including the return of Jonny Brownlee and Katie Zaferes. |
The Pro events are just a slice of what’s on offer for spectators to enjoy, with the introduction of the Youth and Junior racing, as well as the Age Group (AG) Aquathlons, Regattas, Fun Runs, Corporate Team Enduro races, and all-new and exciting fan experiences in the Fanzone. The AG Aquathlon and Fun Run registrations are now open, with entries starting from as little as €10.
SLT has once again teamed up with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) to deliver the fan-focussed event. Konrad Mizzi, Malta’s Minister for Tourism, said: “Following last year’s success, we are delighted to support this season’s Super League. Triathlon and SLT are growing in popularity and we are thrilled to bring to Malta the world’s best athletes. This will complement a year full of events, which has brought several world-class brands and artists to the island.”
The Parliamentary Secretary for Youths, Sport and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima said:
“The presence of world-renowned athletes in Malta shows that sport is not only physically beneficial but also socially important. Our country has the necessary ingredients to host such high-level events, including a good standard of accommodation, good weather all year round, state-of-the-art facilities and a fantastic atmosphere.”
Saturday will be a test of pure endurance for all racers taking part – with the female and male Junior and Youth Enduros kick-starting Day 1, followed by the Corporate Team Enduro. For visitors wanting the first glimpse of their sporting heroes, the Pro female and male Enduro Heats will take place in the afternoon (swim-bike-run x 2), where the athletes will be split into two different groups (A and B). The top eight athletes from these two groups will automatically qualify for the Equalizer format (time trial, followed by pursuit start swim-bike-run x 2) on Day 2. The next two fastest athletes across both heats will also go through to the final day, qualifying the top 20 athletes for Sunday’s Final.
|The Saturday Enduro Heats on Day 1 is new to SLT this season and will be replicated at each Championship Series event, with 20 qualifying for Day 2. The Sunday Day 2 race will always be one of three SLT formats: Equalizer, Enduro or Triple Mix, with the Equalizer being the selected format for Day 2 in Malta.|
Michael D’hulst, CEO and co-founder of SLT, said:“Super League is delighted to be returning to Malta for our Championship Series in 2019 and we will be bigger and better than ever. As well as our amazing professional racing and Youth and Junior divisions, we are focussed on providing an improved experience for our Age Group athletes and spectators. Along with Fun Runs, Aquathlons and a series of other events for people of all abilities, we will be providing fantastic entertainment around the course to supply the very best environment in which to watch the greatest Triathletes in the world compete over our thrilling race formats.”
Visit superleaguetriathlon.com for more information on Super League Malta and the other SLT events. Click hereto download the Malta promotional video.
Charles-Barclay talks about sacrifices, support and female inspiration while celebrating International Women’s Day and new partnership with CeramicSpeed
8th March, 2019 – Holstebro, Denmark: For British professional triathlete Lucy Charles-Barclay, 2019 is the year she intends to complete some unfinished business, and convert her two second places at the Ironman World Championships in 2017 and 2018, into victory.
Charles-Barclay said: “I am someone who loves to race, especially at the major events. I want to race the best athletes in the world and see how I compare. For me, it is not all about winning but knowing you left it all out there on the course and you gave it everything you had on the day. In Kona last year I achieved that. I left the island satisfied, but hungry for more.”
Charles-Barclay acknowledges that for her to make the jump to the top step of the podium and claim the title of World Champion, she has to continue to develop as an athlete, becoming stronger and more robust. She acknowledges that this comes at considerable cost, as she tries to balance training, racing and life with husband and fellow pro triathlete Reece Barclay: “My whole life is centred around being a full-time professional athlete. Our wedding had to be in our off-season as it just wouldn’t work around training and racing. We were back training the day after – we ran 18 miles while I was still in my wedding hairdo – and our honeymoon will have to wait until the next off-season.”
This focus and commitment comes from Charles-Barclay’s early support, inspirations and mentors: “I am very fortunate to come from a sporty family. My parents would always take me and my sister swimming or cycling at the weekends.”
Her triathlon heroes are Chrissie Wellington and Lucy Gossage: “Both are amazing athletes and role models. I was lucky to meet Lucy in my very early days of triathlon and she has been a mentor and friend to me ever since. It’s truly inspiring to see her balance being a cancer specialist and a professional triathlete, while also being a lovely, down-to-earth person.”
Charles-Barclay’s husband Reece is also a source of inspiration: “For his ability to pick himself up when things don’t go to plan. This sport is so tough and he has suffered more than his fair share of setbacks. I admire his ability to re-motivate himself and rebuild for the next race. He is the most dedicated, hard-working athlete and coach I know.”
This year also sees Charles-Barclay launch a new partnership with world-leading bearing specialists CeramicSpeed, which will see her ride on their Oversized Pulley Wheel System (OSPW) throughout the season. To mark this and the announcement of the partnership on International Women’s Day, Charles-Barclay has been presented with one of only three limited edition OSPW sets from CeramicSpeed. Specially engraved for the occasion, the purple pulley wheels have her name and personal motto ‘Live to Inspire’ on them.
CeramicSpeed’s Executive Vice President Martin Banke said, “CeramicSpeed is committed to supporting female athletes equally, and we wanted to mark this year’s International Women’s Day by making a very limited set of OSPW in honour of women in sport. These will be presented to our latest athletes Lucy Charles-Barclay and Marta Bastianelli, recognising their fantastic achievements. We look forward to celebrating another year of amazing results with them both.”
|25-year old Charles-Barclay said: “I would like to think I have a good few years before I hit my prime in this sport, which is exciting, but of course that doesn’t come without hard work and dedication. I don’t resent having to make the social sacrifices, but it can be tough not seeing my family very often. I am lucky to have very supportive friends and family and it’s all worth it when the results come on race day!”|
Photo Credit: James Mitchell
After an incredible first full season of Super League racing around the world, the contests for the Men’s and Women’s crowns came down to an epic weekend of racing in Singapore. The double points scoring system for the final racing weekend means that the leaders Katie Zaferes (USA) and Vincent Luis (FRA) would need to continue their dominant performances in the island city-state, in order to secure their Championship titles.
Zaferes’ season dominance secures title
Katie Zafares’ constant dominance throughout the season set the scene for the final weekend, making her the athlete to beat. Her tactical brilliance and precision preparation enabled her to time her effort to perfection in the first day’s Eliminator, taking the victory in the third stage, despite being pushed all the way by Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) and Ashleigh Gentle (AUS).
“It took me a little while to get warmed up, but when I was running in the top five in the first two rounds, I thought, I don’t really have to be here. I can be a little bit further back. I didn’t push in the first two rounds, but I pushed in the last one.”– Two-time SLT Champion Katie Zaferes.
The second day and final race of the season, the Women’s Enduro took place on Sunday and resulted in the greatest finish of the series. Zafares remained the one to beat, with the remainder of the field fighting to capture their own moment of glory, particularly Beaugrand and Rachel Klamer (NED). The format of the Enduro was an energy-sapping swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run, without a break, in the heat and humidity.
In the end, it came down to a photo finish, with France’s Beaugrand taking the victory by millimetres from Zafares, with the Netherlands’ Klamer a close third. Despite not racing in Malta or Mallorca, young Beaugrand has been a force of nature in Singapore, winning the Enduro, the SLT Super League weekend and coming third overall.
Enduro race winner and Super League Singapore winner Cassandre Beaugrand after her win on Sunday: “Coming into Singapore I trained very hard on my bike to be better. I found it so hard there but my head was better than my body. It was amazing.”
Katie Zaferes: “Super League makes you better all-round. You have to work on every little thing – both physically and mentally and even emotionally. It’s high pressure coming into this race, and I knew I had to perform well. I think it sets me up well for the rest of the season. I am really happy with where I am.”
Luis survives horror Eliminator to take Enduro and overall title
After a disastrous start for Luis in Saturday’s Eliminator, which saw him experience a puncture on the first bike lap resulting in elimination from the race, the Frenchman roared back in Sunday’s Enduro, showing his class and holding firm to take the overall Championship win by just two points.
With Luis out of the Eliminator, the other championship contenders made the most of the opportunity with the lead changing several times throughout the stages, as Jonas Schomburg (GER), Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Jonny Brownlee (GBR) and Richard Murray (RSA) made their attacks. It all came down to the final stage when Henri Schoeman, who had been pushing Luis throughout the season and was in contention for the overall title, looked as if he would take the victory on the run leg.
However, Brownlee, Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) and Hayden Wilde (NZL) pushed him hard, fighting it out for the win which was taken by Brownlee, in what was an emotional return to form for the Briton on his return from a troubled 2018.
Men’s Super League Singapore winner Jonny Brownlee, “That last race was one of the easiest I did, I felt good, I felt in control, it shows what I can do after a couple of months of decent training. It’s nice to be back.”
That left it all to play for in Sunday’s Enduro Race with Luis knowing he had to work hard if he was to take home the Championship, Schoeman aware he had a chance to challenge for the title and Brownlee eager to back up Saturday’s win and take the Singapore title. Once again the format was swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run, with no break.
What followed was a tense and attritional race with all of the top contenders leaving everything on course; but in the end, it was Luis who held firm to sensationally win the day. Brownlee pushed him hard and took a well-earned second place, with Schoeman coming home a close third to round off the podium.
These results meant Brownlee took the top step for Super League Singapore, but the overall title went to Luis by just two points, with Schoeman in second and Brownlee in third.
Vincent Luis on his Enduro win and SLT Championship title win: “Since the start today, I knew I had to be hard and smart. I could not hope for a better result. I didn’t want to lead today, I just wanted to keep with as many people as possible – pure tactics. I wanted to save myself until the last run. I knew I was fresher as I didn’t race as much as them yesterday, so I was waiting for the last run. I saw that Henri wasn’t at his best, so I tried to keep with Jonny as much as possible.
“I was so down after yesterday, I didn’t know if I wanted to race this Sunday. I still can’t believe it I’ve won. You never know – anything can happen.”
|Women’s final Top10 rankings:|
1. Katie Zaferes (USA) 113 pts
2. Rachel Klamer (NED) 76 pts
3. Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) 65 pts
4. Taylor Spivey (USA) 62 pts
5. Kirsten Kasper (USA) 51 pts
6. Summer Rappaport (USA) 50 pts
7. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 34 pts
8. Yuko Takahashi (JPN) 31 pts
9. Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) 30 pts
10. Leonie Periault (FRA) 28 pts
Men’s final Top10 rankings:
1. Vincent Luis (FRA) 107 pts
2. Henri Schoeman (RSA) 105 pts
3. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 96 pts
4. Tyler Mislawhuk (CAN) 57 pts
5. Richard Murray (RSA) 54 pts
6. Léo Bergere (FRA) 52 pts
7. Ben Kanute (USA) 50 pts
8. Hayden Wilde (NZL) 46 pts
9. Jonas Schomburg (GER) 32 pts
10. Matthew Sharpe (CAN) 23 pts
|The top 10 women & men win contracts for next season, which commences with the first Qualifier in Bali in one month’s time: 23-24 March.|
|For full placings and times click here|
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After an incredible first event in Jersey just one month ago, Super League Triathlon (SLT) is back and this time, it’s on the stunning, historic Mediterranean island of Malta. In one of the biggest sporting events the island has ever hosted, the USA’s Katie Zaferes and France’s Vincent Luis both go into Super League Malta at the top of the SLT leaderboards after superior performances in Jersey.
What does Super League Malta look like?
Malta – whose capital Valletta was voted the 2018 European Capital of Culture – is the place to watch the world’s greatest triathletes battle it out in contention for the SLT Championship title this weekend, as well as the venue for Age Groupers (AG) and the local communities to get stuck into the sport.
As with all SLT events, the pro athletes will be taking on two of five challenging SLT formats in this Championship Series event: Malta will host the two-staged Equalizer on Friday (from 4pm CEST) and Sunday (from 1.30pm CEST), and the Eliminator on Saturday (from 1.15pm CEST).