France’s Léo Bergere stormed to 2023 Super League Triathlon Championship Series glory in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, breaking free from New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde on the final run leg to take both the Series and race win.

The duo, both vying for the overall title of the four-date 2023 series, were inseparable on the first eight disciplines of the day before Bergere, applied a Short Chute in the final transition and surged to victory on the final 1.6km of the day and series. Wilde would finish 9 seconds back while Brit Alex Yee would come home in third to also secure bronze in the overall series.

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“Until 400 metres from the line I was scared to look behind my shoulder,” said Bergere, the 2022 ITU World Champion, at the finish. “I knew Hayden would be right behind me, but I could hear my coach Tim Don saying you’ve got this. And I have to thank Tim, my team and Matt Hauser today for giving me the Short Chutes, without the help of everyone I wouldn’t have had the victory.”


After three dramatic races in London, Toulouse and Malibu, the series leaders – Bergere (on 29 points), Jonny Brownlee (28 points) and defending champ Wilde (27 points) – all went into the race knowing that a win would secure them the title. Everything was on the line in NEOM, with a Red Sea swim, a multi-terrain bike leg and a flat run course, all in the 30°C desert heat, standing between them and the 2023 title.

The format – the 30th Super League pro event since its debut at Hamilton Island in 2017 – was the famous Super League three-stage Enduro, the mega mix of speed and endurance powers previously used in London, England, for the series debut, where Alex Yee was the winner on home soil.

2023.10.19 Neom Super League Triathlon Photo : @by Wout
Tactical cycling came into play in the hot and windy desert conditions NEOM served up

The three back-to-back stages gave athletes a 300m swim in the warm Red Sea, before a single lap 4km bike leg on a mix of gravel and tarmac surfaces, before a final fast 1.6km run, all in the desert heat.

The 90-second rule was also in place where any athlete that falls 90 seconds or more off the leader’s pace at the end of any individual lap being shown the Elimination Flag and stopped from continuing the race.


The 300m sea swim would begin with RTP Sharks man Max Stapley making a false start, receiving a 5sec penalty on exit. Aussie Matt Hauser would secure the Short Chute for the Santara Tech Eagles, exiting T1 first ahead of RTS Warriors lead man Chase McQueen and Leo Bergere of France.

Jonny Brownlee and Hayden Wilde were 10secs back, while Norway’s Olympic champ Kristian Blummenfelt would be a victim of the high pace, already 20secs in arrears.

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Onto the multi-terrain 4km bike and Wilde would be quick to move to the front, with Bahrain Victorious Scorpions teammate and fellow New Zealander Tayler Reid joining him. The two would lead into T2, exiting with a 3.8sec advantage over Bergere and taking a Short Chute for the Scorpions. Final major title contender Brownlee was 7 seconds back.

Onto the 1.6km run and Wilde was swift to take control, securing a 100m advantage by the halfway stage and maintaining that advantage into Stage 2 to deny the rival teams a Short Chute. And all when running with his swim goggles on…


Wilde would enter the second 300m swim of the day with a 10sec advantage over the chasers, but that lead would largely be swallowed up by the swim exit, his lead 4secs ahead of the USA’s Seth Rider and Bergere out of T1.

The second 4km bike of the day would see Wilde joined by Rider and Bergere by the 3km mark, with Brownlee 12secs back and seeing his Championship dreams slowly evaporate in the desert heat. News was also filtering through that the Scorpions’ Short Chute would be awarded to Henri Schoeman and not Wilde, with Bergere taking the Short Chute for the Eagles.

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Onto the 1.6km run and Brownlee was now 18secs in arrears and Rider would also drop from the front. The battle for the 2023 title and race win was now down to Bergere and Wilde. A Super League classic was unfolding.


Into the 300m sea swim for the final time and the world beaters were still inseparable. Blummenfelt had run his way back into podium contention and was third into the Red Sea 23 seconds behind the leaders, Rider and Brownlee in close pursuit. Into T1 and Bergere would be notified by Eagles’ coach Tim Don that he alone had the Short Chute. Wilde would face an uphill task to defend his title.

Onto the 4km bike and Bergere and Wilde would remain inseparable throughout, Cervélo against Canyon and France versus New Zealand on the aphalt of Saudi Arabia. That racing glue would hold until T2, when Bergere would apply the Short Chute to take a 5m lead into the Series’ final discipline.

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The 1.6km run would see the chasers 38secs back, but a battle for the podium and team points would remain. At the front, Bergere of the Eagles was still holding his advantage at the 800m mark and Wilde would have no answer, the Frenchman crossing the line 9secs ahead of a visibly fuming Wilde and 31secs before third-place finisher Alex Yee, 34 seconds in front of Matt Hauser and 45 seconds ahead of Blummenfelt.


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