Super League Triathlon has returned with its trademark unpredictability and fierce competition, especially as so many athletes arrived in Jersey in peak condition. HUUB athlete’s Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Sophie Coldwell (GBR) started the league with the blue leaders' jerseys as last seasons fastest swimmers. Jonny Brownlee (GBR) was designated green for leading biker, and Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) was in red for leading runner of 2017.
Although an exciting watch, the Super League Triathlon can be slightly confusing based on the unique race format and regulations. Over 50 of the World’s best professional athletes travelled to Jersey for the season opener event, attracted by the $1.5 million prize pot. Both long and short course athletes battle each other across a variety of challenging and unforgiving formats and the male and female athletes that accumulate the most points across the season (consisting of four weekends of racing) will be crowned Champion of Super League Triathlon.
Saturday was the ‘Triple Mix’ race format, which rotates the disciplines in three back-to-back stages, throwing the traditional swim-bike-run sequence out the window. Tactics for survival are fierce, and athletes are eliminated from the race if they fall more than 90 seconds behind.
STAGE 1: 300M Swim - 5KM Bike - 2KM Run (10-minute break)
STAGE 2: 2KM Run - 5KM Bike - 300M Swim (10-minute break)
STAGE 3: 5KM Bike - 300M Swim - 2KM Run
France dominated the Triple Mix with Vincent Luis and Cassandre Beaugrand taking the victories. HUUB’s Henri Schoeman and Kristian Blummenfelt claimed silver and bronze respectively. In the women’s race defending champion Katie Zaferes (USA) finished 2nd and Ashley Gentle (AUS) 3rd.
On Sunday, in the Enduro race (dubbed the most-brutal format of all) endurance and tactics were required. The Enduro is a non-stop burst of swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run, with the two slowest athletes at the end of each discipline eliminated immediately. The winner is the first athlete across the finish line upon completion of the entire race sequence.
300M Swim - 5KM Bike - 1.6KM Run - 300M Swim - 5KM Bike - 1.6KM Run - 300M Swim - 5KM Bike - 1.6KM Run
Luis claimed the double, after a battle with Schoeman and Richard Murray (RSA) for the Enduro top spot. Schoeman claimed another silver medal, which takes him into the next round of the Super League Jersey Championship in second place with Blummenfelt just behind in third position overall. Blummenfelt fought fellow HUUB athlete Jonathan Brownlee for fourth place throughout, with Brownlee eventually finishing behind Blummenfelt. Surprisingly, the Enduro proved too much for World Champion Mario Mola (ESP) who was forced to retire mid-race.
In the women’s Enduro Zaferes took the win. HUUB’s Sophie Coldwell (GBR) once again impressed with a strong swim and first-exit from the water, and HUUB’s Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) finished the race in fourth place and fourth position overall, not bad for her Super League Triathlon debut!