Vincent Luis and Katie Zaferes outsmart the field with tactics, grit and unwavering pow
30th September 20180 comment
The final day of RBC Super League Jersey came to a close in a thrilling showdown, with France’s Vincent Luis taking his second weekend win in the men’s Enduro and being crowned RBC Super League Jersey Champion. Earlier in the day, the crowds were treated to an outstanding sporting display from Katie Zaferes in the Women’s Enduro to see her take the win and ultimately the RBC Super League Jersey Championship title, joining Luis at top of the leaderboard as they head to SLT Malta on 27-28 October.
It was a weekend of unpredictability and fierce competition, with so many athletes arriving in Jersey in peak condition. After the French domination yesterday, which saw both Cassandre Beaugrand and Vincent Luis take the victories in the Triple Mix, today saw the 29-year-old Frenchman claim the double, with South Africa’s Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray in a continuous battle for the Enduro top spot.
Dubbed the most-brutal format of all, these three dominated the lead in the Enduro from the get-go on the chilly Sunday afternoon, leaving Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) to fight it out for fourth and fifth place throughout the triple swim-bike-run format. The Enduro proved too much for even the best, as World Champion Mario Mola (ESP) was forced to retire mid-race.
Jersey’s very own Oliver Turner needed to stay in the field as long as possible in order to qualify for the Super League Triathlon (SLT) Championship Series, and he didn’t disappoint his home crowd; he had done enough to secure his place this SLT season by completing the first stage of the race.
The men’s Enduro finished with Luis taking gold, followed by Schoeman for the silver and Murray with the bronze. With the points collated form their performances in yesterday’s race, the men’s final leaderboard for the weekend saw Luis be crowned Champion, with Schoeman and Blummenfelt placing second and third overall, thanks to the Norwegian’s strong Triple Mix placement.
“I felt so confident going into today after my race yesterday, but I am so happy it’s done now and that there’s no race tomorrow! I can’t wait to come back to Jersey again and I will do my best to make everyone proud of me”, said double SLT race winner and Super League Jersey Champion Vincent Luis.
Runner-up Henri Schoeman said: “Thank you to everyone for coming out. It’s been really exciting.”
The Women’s Enduro race was a story of American domination. GBR’s Sophie Coldwell once again impressed with a strong swim and first-exit from the water, but Katie Zaferes (USA), Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), Kirsten Kasper (USA) and Emma Jeffcoat (USA) were on Coldwell’s tail. Zaferes proved too strong for the Brits, and it wasn’t long into the bike when the American and her compatriot Kasper broke away.
There were shining moments from Taylor-Brown, Beaugrand, Coldwell, USA’s Summer Cook, but going into the second and third rounds, the gap only increased between the leading two and the rest of the pack, although Beaugrand stepped up to separate herself from the middle group to go behind the Americans. By the third swim, Zaferes and Kasper were clearly going for first and second, and Zaferes’ failure to put a foot wrong meant she would surely win the gold medal.
The Female Enduro finished with Zaferes taking gold, Kasper silver and Beaugrand bronze. Taylor-Brown put in a solid run to finish just off the podium in fourth. With Zaferes’ second-place finish yesterday, she shot to the top of the women’s leaderboard in Jersey, and took the weekend’s Championship title, with yesterday’s winner finishing second on the overall leaderboard, and Kasper sitting comfortably in third, going into the SLT Championship Series in Malta next month.
Female Enduro race runner-up Kirsten Kasper said: “I absolutely loved the format! It’s definitely challenging but it’s a lot of fun. It was great to be able to work with my fellow American to get away from the field. I was here in Jersey last year – I love it because the fans are great and we owe a lot to them for coming out and supporting.”
Two-time Ironman World Champion and SLT co-founder Chris McCormack said: “What an intense weekend of racing. The purpose of Super League Triathlon is to put athletes out of their comfort zone and push them to their limits; and with brutal eliminations, World Champion dropouts and unpredictable finishes, it did just that. The Jersey crowd turned out in force to cheer on our competitors, and we can’t wait to head to Malta next month to put the athletes through their paces once again.”
Men’s Enduro Top Three:
Vincent Luis #29 (FRA) 0:55:48
Henri Schoeman #04 (RSA) 0:55:54
Richard Murray #07 (RSA) 0:56:06
Men’s RBC Super League Jersey Championship Top Three:
Vincent Luis #29 (FRA) 50pts
Henri Schoeman #04 (RSA) 42pts
Kristian Blummenfelt #02 (NOR) 34pts
Women’s Enduro Top Three:
Katie Zaferes #16 (USA) 1:00:37
Kirsten Kasper #91 (USA) 1:00:51
Cassandre Beaugrand #55 (FRA) 1:01:27
Women’s RBC Super League Jersey Championship Top Three:
Katie Zaferes #16 (USA) 46pts
Cassandre Beaugrand #55 (FRA) 43pts
Kirsten Kasper #91 (USA) 37pts
It wasn’t just the pro races that the Jersey crowd of thousands packed the streets to watch; today saw the first ever Super League Triathlon Age Group (AG) races. Budding amateur triathletes took to the same course as the professionals in both Enduro and Super Sprint formats, with individual and relay teams competing throughout the morning. It was a British display of dominance in the AG Super Sprint (400m swim-10km bike-2.5km run), with Sophie Dorey (0:41:52) and Charles Bird (0:35:19) sweeping the male and female fastest times.
Leeds Triathlon Centre’s Sarah Hodgson won the Female Enduro (400m swim-10km bike-2.5km run x2) but it was Germany’s Daniel Hahn that shone in the Enduro, having overtaken the relay competitors to monumentally win the race, at just 19 years of age.
The local business sector couldn’t be kept away from the action, with Corporate Mix team ‘First Names 1’ taking the victory in the two-staged race across the weekend.
Download a selection of imagery from the weekend’s races here, and you can check out all the pictures from Jersey by searching for ‘Super League Triathlon’ at smugmug.com.
You can catch the next SLT Championship Series event in Malta on 27-28 October. The live action of the races is free to watch at superleaguetriathlon.com and Super League Triathlon Facebook. For TV coverage, you can check local listings.