18 Sep 2022
4 min read
Championship ○ Latest News ○ Malibu ○ Races
Following his win at Stage 1 in London, New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde has once again claimed victory in the 2022 Super League Triathlon Championship Series in Malibu, California, today. The 25-year-old surged to the front on the final run leg of the day, pushing Israel’s Shachar Sagiv and Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca onto the remaining podium spots to tighten his grip on the five-stage series.
The victory felt good today as I was struggling on the swim. I was really gutted to see Matt Hauser on the side-lines and getting eliminated, so I knew I had to go as hard as I could. That’s racing and I had to do what I had to do today to take the competition.Hayden Wilde
The victory felt good today as I was struggling on the swim. I was really gutted to see Matt Hauser on the side-lines and getting eliminated, so I knew I had to go as hard as I could. That’s racing and I had to do what I had to do today to take the competition.
In a similar vein to the women’s race immediately before it, the men’s event was full of drama, with one of the pre-race favourites, Australia’s Hauser, crashing on the first bike leg of the day and eventually being shown the yellow flag in Super League’s ruthless Eliminator format.
There was even drama before the event, with Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca bitten by a seal on a training swim in Malibu (but being deemed fit to start), and major name Jonny Brownlee missing due to illness. Australian wildcard Cam Wurf was on the start line, however, with the multiple Ironman winner and now member of the Ineos Grenadiers WorldTour cycling squad making his Super League Triathlon Championship debut.
After two epic races in London at the start of September and Munich’s iconic Olympiapark last weekend where Aussie Matt Hauser was victorious, the Super League Championship rolled into Malibu’s Zuma Beach in California as part of the famous 2XU Malibu Triathlon.
The Eliminator format was deployed, witnessing three standard swim-bike-run triathlons with a short break in between. That format would see the final three athletes to finish in Stage 1 and Stage 2 eliminated, before Stage 3’s pursuit-style start based upon combined times from Stage 1 and Stage 2. Each stage consisted of a 300m one-lap swim ocean swim, a 3.6km three-lap cycle bike and a 1.6km two-lap run.
Australia’s Matt Hauser instantly led the way on the swim, acknowledging pre-race just how important the pursuit-style start of Stage 3 could be on the ultimate direction of the race. Hauser and his Antipodean rival, Kiwi Tayler Reid, were seen jostling each other into T1, with Hauser edging Reid to take the Short Chute. The rivalry was on!
Briefly, it would turn out, with Hauser out in the same position on the bike leg as Georgia Taylor-Brown in the women’s race, the sandy tarmac and tight turns proving too much to handle. From front to being in danger of elimination in the space of one corner, Hauser’s plight highlighted the high-stakes drama of Super League Triathlon’s elimination format.
Vilaca would be the chief benefactor and would lead the pack into T2. Yet Wilde would become the Stage 1’s victor after taking control on the run, with Sagiv and Germany’s Valentin Wernz close behind. Hauser and Wurf, meanwhile, would be shown the yellow eliminator flag, leaving Hauser with a mountain to climb to take the overall series when racing returns in Toulouse, France, in a fortnight.
With the pre-race favourite out, who would take advantage? South Africa’s Jamie Riddle and Kiwi Tayler Reid, who trains in the surf of New Zealand, would be the initial benefactors, bodysurfing onto the Zuma sands with a 10sec advantage over the chasers. Reid would control the bike leg and hold a 12sec advantage onto Stage 2’s run, but Wilde would lay down a blistering run to take the Stage 2 title 7secs ahead of Sagiv.
The pursuit-style start saw Wilde enter the swell first, followed by Sagiv 8secs back and Vilaca 13secs in arrears. Vilaca would exit the water first ahead of the young British star Dan Dixon, 20, before Riddle took the initiative onto the tight and technical bike leg. A gang of six would enter T2 together, with Riddle taking the Short Chute to gain an early advantage.
Yet it would be Wilde’s run prowess that would soon come to the fore, the Kiwi continuing his formidable 2022 Super League Championship Series form to take the title ahead of Sagiv and Vilaca to score another win for Team Sharks.
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