Bergere Realises A Dream By Lifting Championship Series Title In Dramatic Fashion

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Léo Bergere admitted it was mission accomplished after achieving his long held goal of being crowned Super League Triathlon Championship Series winner.

The French star was a regular on the Super League circuit in the early days but never got close to lifting the trophy. After a couple of years away, he returned to the fold for the 2023 Series with one objective – putting right past mistakes to become champion.

It all came down to a tense Grand Final in NEOM, and one final run where he was handed a Short Chute by Santara Tech Eagles manager Tim Don and he sprinted away from closest rival Hayden Wilde for glory.

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Bergere said: “It’s crazy to think I was racing Super League a couple of years ago and to think about the journey since then.

“I have always used Super League as interesting races to improve me and I came here to win it so I am delighted.

“I was quite surprised when Tim told me I had a Short Chute as well. In my mind it was going crazy as well because I was sure Hayden had a Short Chute because I saw him being first at one point.

“It changed a little bit the plan and it was in my advantage now but I had to play it smart to win the race. It wasn’t easy even with the Short Chute.

“I was scared to hear him (Wilde) breathing behind my shoulder and in the end I tried to really go all out for the first couple of hundred meters to avoid him being back in my draft and then when we came back I knew I had to go all out until the line and I made it.

“I am super happy and also proud for the team.”

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There was much focus after the race on the decision of Bahrain Victorious Scorpions boss Michael Gilliam not to give Wilde a Short Chute, but Don lauded a ‘tactical masterclass’ from Bergere.

Don said: “Leo didn’t panic but Hayden is such a savvy, smart racer and got the Short Chute and he likes putting people under pressure. He doesn’t always come fully fit and ready but tactically he is great.

“There was a plan for Leo to work with tactics as it developed because there was an out and back on the bike and run so you can see where the competitors were.

“He had the Short Chute so he knew he needed to go but he had to put himself in that position.

“The Short Chute is everything. It’s what Super League is about and the innovative way they develop the sport.

“You could see on that bike they were looking at each other and thinking ‘no one is going to catch us so how are we going to do this?’ It was a tactical masterclass from Leo but take nothing away from Hayden.”

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