Hauser Storms to Victory and Redemption at SLT Munich

Jm Super League Munich Championship 2022 Jm323967

A phenomenal turn of speed on the final 1.6km run leg to see off Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca and Hayden Wilde – who both took Short Chutes – saw Matt Hauser take the tape and the lead in the Championship Series in the Enduro format in the Olympiapark.

It was the best way to relieve any lingering frustrations for Hauser, who had finished second behind Wilde in London last weekend after being mistakenly issued a penalty when a team-mate false started.

Vilaca had a breakthrough performance to clinch the runner-up berth ahead of Wilde, with Jonny Brownlee in fourth and Kenji Nener finishing fifth. It also meant each Super League team was represented in the top five finishers

After victory in London, Wilde led the series coming into Munich, but there was no Vincent Luis, who won in Germany last year – the Scorpions’ star still recovering from injury.

It was frantic from the off. Tayler Reid was first out of the water on the opening stage followed by Jamie Riddle, Chase McQueen and Nener. Reid managed to stay in front through transition to pick up the first Short Chute for the Sharks.

Max Stapley led most of the first 4km bike leg, but it was Vilaca who led into transition before his fellow Rhino Valentin Wernz slipped the run shoes on fastest to grab the second short chute.

With the race lead changing hands, Nener came to the front before Wilde took charge for the final part of the first run.

The race wasn’t breaking up anywhere near as much as the earlier women’s contest, but it was the Scorpions’ Nener who led out of the water on the second swim and into transition with a few seconds to spare from Hauser.

On to the bike and Wilde, Brownlee and Vilaca had bridged up to Nener, but also opened a gap back to fifth place and Shachar Sagiv.

Wilde ran 5 seconds clear on the second run, not a decisive break, but one which looked like a foreshadowing for the final stage. 

But Hauser had other ideas. Entering the final swim, the Australian put in a huge effort to not only catch the leaders, but head them coming out of the water. Nener once again showed his speed through transition, with Brownlee losing vital seconds mounting his bike as the tension ratcheted up still further.

Elsewhere the racing was still tight, with Ryan Fisher lasting until the final bike leg before being the first triathlete eliminated due to the 90-second rule.

With triathletes from all five teams represented up front, there was nothing to choose between them as they headed out for the run.

Both Vilaca and Wilde had short chutes to be taken on the first lap that gave them the early advantage, but Hauser quickly closed the gap with Brownlee and Nener losing contact. The Aussie then surged again, and this time no-one could live with him.

Hauser said: “It certainly wasn’t pretty out there. I was battling some demons especially on that second bike. But it was a big last swim and I brought it home for the Eagles. I stayed calm controlled my breathing, knew I had to sit there on the bike. On the last run it was all or nothing. I managed to use the downhills with my long legs. There’ll be more pain [next week], but I love Malibu and it’ll be great to be back in the surf and hopefully catching a few body waves.”

Vilaca said: “I’m very happy with the result today, especially after last weekend when things really did not go my way. After the race I said let’s take the positives and learn as much as I can and today everything went really well. Matthew has no weak spots at the moment. Valentin [Wernz] got the short chute for my team, so a big shout out to him. Mentally, I knew I had to fight for it when the team doing such a good job.”

Wilde said: ”I felt I just got beaten by the other guys out there today. I didn’t have the gears I had in London and felt a bit flat, but those boys rode and swam amazingly. I just didn’t have it today, but it was fantastic to see them battle all the way and it was a close competition in the end. I’ll fight another day in Malibu.”

Sign up now