Vincent Luis and Katie Zaferes win Super League Triathlon in Europe
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. Similarly, Katie Zaferes won the Women’s Enduro and was crowned the championship title.
Super League Triathlon (SLT) features the top 50 (25 male and 25 female) triathletes from around the world, racing across some spectacular racing destinations throughout the season: Poznan (29 June-01 July), Penticton (17-19 August), Jersey (29-30 September), Malta (27-28 October), Mallorca (3-4 November) and Singapore (23-24 February 2019).
It was a weekend of unpredictability and fierce competition, with so many athletes arriving in Jersey in peak condition. 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.
The men’s Enduro finished with Luis taking gold, followed by Schoeman for the silver and Murray with the bronze. With the points collated from the Triple Mix race, the men’s final leaderboard for the weekend saw Luis be crowned Champion, with Schoeman and Blummenfelt placing second and third overall.
“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.
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