Crunch time in Bali this weekend in the fight for six Golden Tickets to the 2019 SLT Championship Series
The new Super League Triathlon (SLT) season is kicking off in paradise this weekend at BCA Super League Bali – the first Qualifier of the year and the first SLT event in Indonesia – which will see three male and three female athletes win Golden Tickets to the main SLT Championship Series events. Set in Bali’s stunning Ayodya Resort, located along the white sands of Nusa Dua, 53 athletes will be lining up this weekend (23-24 March) to earn one of a limited number of places in the professional league.
The Qualifiers are the gateway to the professional league, which will see the successful athletes compete against triathlon superstars such as Katie Zaferes, Vincent Luis, Ashleigh Gentle and Jonny Brownlee, who have automatically qualified via their top 10 finishes last season. With a plethora of hungry and determined athletes competing for a professional contract and a slice of the main season’s $1.5m total prize fund, this first round in Bali looks set to be an unpredictable thriller.
Amateur competition at its finest
A weekend highlight beyond the professional racing will be the Age Group (AG) and Run events, where more than 2,500 amateurs will follow in the footsteps of the pros, taking to the tarmac and warm Balinese waters for the 2km, 5km and 10km Runs, and AG Sprint and Enduro races. Whether these budding runners and triathletes enter as an individual, team or relay, their BCA Super League Bali challenge will be an experience like no other.
A challenge of persistence
Saturday (Day 1) will see professional athletes from all over the globe take to the tarmac for the Equalizer format – a two-stage challenge of persistence. Stage 1 is a stand-alone 2.5km run time trial, and athletes who post good individual times in Stage 1 will be fighting hard to stay away from a charging main field in Stage 2.
This second stage will see the fast pack of swimmers, cyclists and runners battling through the intense swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run, while those with a time advantage will be giving their all to stay out front.
A challenge of unrelenting endurance
Sunday (Day 2) is the Enduro format for the male and female athletes. Considered the most brutal of all SLT formats, the pros must master their stamina and tactics to survive the three continuous bursts of swim-bike-run. This race is a true test of a triathlete’s ability to sustain incredible racing speed and the endurance to cross the line first.
Athletes from the last two seasons will know just how tough Enduro can be on the body, especially in the kind of tropical climate that Bali is famous for. With six Golden Tickets up for grabs this weekend, the top three finishers of both the men’s and women’s Enduro will walk away with a Super League contract for the 2019 season.
There will be two more opportunities for athletes to win a Golden Ticket and qualify for the Championship Series this season, when SLT returns to Poland in June and Canada in August.
Propelling athletes to the world stage
This will be the first ever SLT event in Bali, and thanks to the island’s outstanding natural beauty, watching the racing this weekend will as breathtaking as competing in it.
These Qualifiers give the opportunity for up-and-coming triathletes to compete on the world’s stage with some of the sport’s biggest stars.
Just take Tyler Mislawchuk as a story of inspiration – the young Canadian won a Golden Ticket in last season’s Poznan Qualifier and went on to podium in the Singapore event and finish fourth in the series overall, just behind triathlon’s ‘golden boy’ Jonny Brownlee. Mislawchuk has therefore earned himself a Super League contract for this season through automatic qualification.
With athletes arriving in Nusa Dua from 13 nations worldwide to compete – from Indonesia and Singapore to Australia, Canada and the USA – the new SLT season looks to be as unpredictable and exciting as ever.
The ultimate island festival
Beyond the professional races, BCA Super League Bali will host a myriad of exciting sports and festival activities for those in the local area, from the AG races, multi-distance runs and yoga lessons to mixed martial arts (MMA) demo sessions and live music acts across the weekend.
Macca’s ‘Super Six’
SLT co-founder and two-time Ironman World Champion Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack makes his predictions for the ‘Super Six’ top finishers in Bali this weekend.
“The fight for qualification in Bali is going to be fierce with more professional athletes than ever before looking to gain entry into the series. The racing will be off the charts! With this in mind, I have selected the athletes you can see below to be my picks as the leading contenders.”
For more information about these activities and for the full Bali Qualifier weekend itinerary, click here.
Check out the BCA Super League Bali video here, and as always, you can follow all the latest Super League Triathlon action on superleaguetriathlon.com and via the SLT Facebook channel.