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After his controversial Super League Championship Series frustration in Toulouse, France, earlier this month, New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde secured revenge by powering to victory over French star Leo Bergere in Malibu, California.

Wilde mistakenly attempted to ride an extra bike lap while leading the race alongside the Frenchmen in Toulouse, but there’d be no such troubles in California as he surged clear on the final run leg to scoop yet another Super League title. Aussie Matt Hauser would complete the podium ahead of Henri Schoeman, with Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca fifth, GB’s Alex Yee sixth and Norwegian superstar Kristian Blummenfelt finishing seventh.

“Since [the Olympic test event in] Paris, I’ve been on a downward slope with unfortunate mishaps and mistakes on my behalf as well,” said Wilde at the finish. “It was really nice to put together a race that I know I’m capable of and I’m stoked to do it here in Malibu. It was great to work with Henri [Schoeman] on the bike and try to secure some points for the Scorpions.”

The result places Wilde third in the 2023 Series standings after three rounds, with Bergere at the top and Jonny Brownlee in second. With just four points separating the top five men, it is all to play for in NEOM.

The RTP Sharks had a below par day and saw their Leaderboard dominance slashed by the Santara Tech Eagles and the Bahrain Victorious Scorpions who are tied in second place with the RTS Warriors way adrift in fourth. All is to play for in NEOM on 21 October.

This was the third visit to Malibu of Super League Triathlon. The unpredictable Pacific Ocean swim and waves that carry athletes onto the Malibu sands have made it one of the most dramatic events on the tri calendar.

Adding to the tension was the Eliminator format being deployed, which would see the final three athletes to finish in Stage 1 and Stage 2 eliminated. Three Short Chutes were also up for grabs. Each of today’s three stages consisted of a 300m one-lap swim ocean swim, a 3.6km three-lap cycle bike and a 1.6km two-lap run.


The first 300m one-lap Pacific Ocean swim would be led by South Africa’s swim superstar Henri Schoeman, who’d utilise a wave to propel him onto the =Zuma Beach shore to secure a Short Chute for the Scorpions.

Onto the 3.6km three-lap bike leg and the Scorpions would be leading the charge, with Shachar Sagiv of Israel and Kiwi Tayler Reid joining Schoeman at the front. French racer Leo Bergere’s proven bike skills would see him gain control by the bell and would enter T2 first, gaining a Short Chute for the Eagles.

The 1.6km two-lap run would begin in furious fashion, with even GB’s Shark Alex Yee dropping down the field. Kristian Blummenfelt would force his way into third by the bell, with current series leader Jonny Brownlee just 3.3 seconds back from the leaders. But it would be Kiwi Hayden Wilde (scooping a Short Chute), Bergere and Blummenfelt who’d cross the Stage 1 line first. Ben Kanute would be a high-profile Eliminator casualty.


The day’s second 300m ocean swim would again see Schoeman leading the charge, waiting for a wave to sweep him onto the shore alongside fellow Scorpion Reid.

Stage 2’s tight and technical 3.6km bike leg would see Wilde join the Scorpion-dominated fold, but Bergere and Sagiv would also enter the fray. Brownlee, Yee and Blummenfelt would all be lodged in the main chase pack. Entering T2 first would be Wilde and Schoeman, 9secs ahead of the chasers.

The 1.6km run would see Scorpions Wilde and Schoeman work together, with Yee, quiet so far, leading the chase pack ahead of Portugal’s returning Vasco Vilaca. Wilde would break free of Schoeman to take the Stage 2 title by 2 seconds, with Yee 8 seconds back and Brownlee adrift by 20 seconds. Chase McQueen, Max Stapley and Chris Perham would fall foul of the Eliminator rule.


Ahead of the deciding Stage 3, Schoeman and Bergere would each boast a Short Chute, but the Pursuit start would be led by Wilde by 9 seconds over Bergere and 11 seconds over Schoeman. Blummenfelt (16 seconds), Yee and Vilaca (both 17 seconds) would also be in contention.

The final 300m one-lap ocean swim would be led by Wilde, but Schoeman was soon ahead of him at the first buoy. And the South African would exit the swim first ahead of Wilde and Bergere. Yee and Blummenfelt would be 19 seconds adrift.

The final 3.6km bike leg would see Schoeman, Wilde and Bergere form a front pack but Schoeman was nearly wiped out on the transition mat, narrowly avoiding a crash in the same spot that Summer Rappaport came down in the women’s race. Schoeman would drop back by 5 seconds at the bell, losing out on the drafting benefits experienced by Wilde and Bergere.

Onto the final 1.6km run and a battle for the win was set between Wilde and Bergere. Bergere would take his Short Chute instantly but Wilde stayed with him, making a surge on the first lap that soon created daylight between him and the French racer. The lead was 2 seconds by the bell, and that would increase to 3 seconds by the finishing chute. Matt Hauser would move into third ahead of Schoeman, with Vilaca rounding out the top five.

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