Just when you think you're tough enough


Katie Zaferes and Vincent Luis lead Super League Triathlon in Mallorca

Podium of the women’s category (Darren Wheeler)

Super League Triathlon heads into a mid-season break following a superb, unpredictable competition in Mallorca. The unique, multi-format event is taking the triathlon world by storm – providing intense, exciting races for athletes and spectators alike.

Culminating in the Women’s Sprint and Men’s Sprint Enduro, the lead changed several times over the weekend, keeping the passionate Mallorca crowd gripped right up until the last minute of the final race.

The top athletes in the Women’s and Men’s Sprint Enduro championships extended their overall leads, by three and four points respectively. In the Women’s standings, Rachel Klamer moved from fifth to third, while the Men’s top three remained unchanged.

Women’s Sprint Enduro – lead constantly changing until the end

With an elite field of qualifiers from the heats, the scene was set for a spectacular showdown in the gruelling Swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run without breaks race format. Kirsten Kasper took an early lead on the swim, building an advantage onto the bike, but Katie Zaferes bridged the gap and the field was back together by the second lap.

Going into T2 Zaferes hit the deck, landing heavily on her shoulder, and had to work especially hard to bring it all back together by the start of the second swim. Kasper and Spivey still had their Short Chute (short-cut) options to use, which they could only implement in the run leg.

Kasper maintained a slight advantage coming out of the second swim, but an elite group had formed and Taylor Spivey attacked, building her own lead. Spivey didn’t take her Short Chute on the first lap, but Kasper did, and hit the front again.

It came down to the final lap with Kasper still leading when Spivey took her Short Chute on the final corner blasting to the front of the race. It was a sprint to the line for Spivey and Kasper.

Spivey gave it everything into the final corner, and held off a fast moving Kasper to seal a well earned victory. Despite having fallen, Zaferes finished third, proving she is a worthy series leader.

Spivey was happy with her day:

“That was so hard, it was really exciting, and the Short Chute mixed it up, but gave me a real advantage today. I didn’t feel too strong at all throughout the race, but towards the end of the bike I could tell the other girls were hurting. I saved the Short Chute until the last lap as I knew I wanted to give them minimal time to chase.”

Podium of the Men’s category. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)

Men’s Sprint Enduro – one of the greatest finales

The Men’s event was fast-paced from the first stroke, with tactical racing, and a final run up there with the greatest triathlon finales!

Vincent Luis led out of the first swim with Henri Schoeman, unusually, off the back. A leading pack quickly formed on the bike consisting of Luis, Schoeman, Ben Kanute, Jonny Brownlee and Marten Van Riel.

Brownlee attacked on the first run, building a small gap, but was reeled in before the second swim. The lead group were together as they entered the water.

Jonny Brownlee (left) and Vincent Luis (Darren Wheeler)

Both Luis and Brownlee had Short Chute options for the run – but when would they deploy them? Luis held the lead as the group left the water for the second time, with Schoeman, Brownlee and Van Riel chasing. The group stuck together on the bike, coming into transition as a leading four.

Brownlee attacked at the start of the final run, building a small lead then took his Short Chute on the first lap putting even more time into Luis. On the final lap of the run, Luis took his Short Chute, forging a narrow lead and while both men hit maximum effort, it was Luis who held on for the win. Brownlee was close behind, and Schoeman claimed the third podium spot.

Brownlee knew it was a great spectacle:

“It was hard, but it was just great fun. Probably one of the most exciting races I have ever been involved in. I felt good, and I was hoping to be one of the least tired people.”

“I realised at the end the only card I had to play against Vincent was to take the Short Chute early, surprise him, get a gap, and go as hard as I could. That’s what I did, and he was still better than me. When I took the Short Chute I knew I had about three minutes left of the season so I decided to make them count. I wasn’t going to look back until I turned at the far end, and when I looked back I hoped I’d have a gap, but I didn’t.”

Super League Mallorca Women’s Result
1st    Taylor Spivey (USA)
2nd    Katie Zaferes (USA)
3rd    Kirsten Kasper (USA)

After three Championship Rounds (Jersey, Malta, and Mallorca) we have a clear leader in the championship standings. Katie Zaferes, despite not being on top of the podium this weekend, leads the field with the most points cumulatively.

Overall Standings
Position     Name                            Points
1st               Katie Zaferes (USA)            71
2nd              Kirsten Kasper (USA)          54
3rd               Rachel Klamer (USA)          40

Super League Mallorca Men’s Result
1st    Vincent Luis (FRA)
2nd    Henri Schoeman (RSA)
3rd    Jonny Brownlee (GBR)

After three Championship Rounds (Jersey, Malta, and Mallorca) we have a clear leader in the championship standings. Vincent Luis, has topped the podium each of our Championship Weekends so far.

Overall Standings
Position    Name                           Points

1st               Vincent Luis (FRA)            75
2nd              Henri Schoeman (RSA)    63
3rd               Richard Murray (RSA)      48

Another fantastic weekend of racing from Super League Triathlon. Next stop Singapore, 23-24 February 2019.

Check out full SLT standings here.