Data Dive: Stats Suggest Potter v Coldwell and Yee v Hauser Set For Epic Battles That Could Decide Teams Title

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It’s the race within the race, the battle in the Team, Brit v Brit in London. Sophie Coldwell and Beth Potter’s rivalry and togetherness is going to be stretched to the limit in Super League Triathlon’s 2023 Championship Series.

The two are undisputed stars of the sport. Coldwell won her first WTCS event this year, while Potter has been in imperious form, her stunning improvement underlined by a truly incredible race to win the Paris Olympic Test event.

However, while they line up alongside each other for the RTP Sharks at the Championship Series opener in London on Sunday, they also know the subplot to their racing.

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The Paris Olympics are on the horizon. While both athletes are strong favourites to make the three-woman British team along with Georgia Taylor-Brown, assuming her successful return from injury, there is a big prize also waiting to be grabbed.

Great Britain picked up a gold medal in the mixed relay in Tokyo, and will be among the favourites to do the same in Paris. Taylor-Brown looks likely to keep her place in the team if fit, so it leaves Coldwell and Potter battling for one spot. And with Super League’s super short format the closest thing to the distances on offer, every performance counts.

So how closely are they matched in Super League?

The data from last year’s event in London suggests ludicrously so. Coldwell was 4th overall and Potter 5th. Coldwell had the better of the swims (3:13 v 3:24) and the bike (7:24 v 7:31), while Potter’s run was stronger (5:00 v 4:51).

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What is for certain is Michelle Dillon, who has to try and manage this situation, needs them both to deliver for the RTP Sharks.

The pre-Series analysis suggests that they are most likely to finish third. Of course, it’s only data based on historic performances, and we already know athletes are dealing with injuries that could change it all.

But right now the PREDICTED TEAMS data says:

Bahrain Victorious Scorpions: 412

Santara Tech Eagles: 408

RTP Sharks: 364

RTS Warriors: 208

Fascinating here, though, is how those points breakdown. While Chris McCormack’s Scorpions and Tim Don’s Eagles rely heavily on their men, the Sharks and Warriors are more reliant on their women. And it is actually the Sharks who have the best balance.

Expected TEAM points delivery:

Bahrain Victorious Scorpions – Men: 230, Women: 181

Santara Tech Eagles – Men: 231, Women: 177

RTP Sharks: Men: 175, Women: 189

RTS Warriors: Men: 60, Women: 149

The battle between the men will be led by the expected clash between Matt Hauser and Alex Yee in London. In overall SLT terms, Yee actually ranks below Hauser (2nd v 3rd), with the former champ a less frequent competitor having only raced London last year and had a disappointing result by his high standards.

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The times of their head-to-head in London there is fascinating. You would expect swim ace Hauser to be quicker in the water (2:55 v 3:11). The bike was fractionally to Hauser’s advantage (6:47 v 6:49).

But it was the run where the big shock comes. Yee is known as the fastest runner in the sport. His dash away from the field was mind blowingly good in Paris. But over the shorter SLT distance it was actually a different story. It was actually dead even, with both hitting 4:23.

There is a lot on the shoulders of Yee and Hauser for the Sharks and the Eagles, so how this plays out will be fascinating. And if Yee can take advantage of team dynamics to close that swim gap.

With big swimmers such as Brownlee, Stapley and Dixon on his team, Yee may well be assisted to be quicker in the water and have willing workers on the bike, and will back his run. Hauser is more likely very near the front out of the water and having to hold on and his team may potentially offer less help. It is a fascinating clash that will have a huge say in the final Teams Leaderboard.

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