29 Oct 2022
4 min read
Announcements ○ Championship ○ Latest News ○ NEOM ○ Races
New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde has today been crowned the 2022 Super League Triathlon Championship Series winner in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. Knowing a top 15 finish would secure the overall crown, the 25-year-old Kiwi finished third behind dominant race winner Matt Hauser and Jonny Brownlee on a multisport course like no other in the desert of Arabia.
Wilde’s series win continued a brilliant year for the New Zealander, which has already seen him take second behind Alex Yee at the Commonwealth Games and could still witness him become the 2022 ITU World Champion in November. He’s also in line to secure over $150,000 for his Super League Championship exploits in 2022.
I was outclassed today as the others boy were extremely strong and I wasn’t there on the bike and run today. Jonny and Matt were pushing and pushing all day so I’m just stoked to hold onto third. Having the gravel [on the bike course] and being in the middle of nowhere was amazing, and it’s really nice to finish here with an amazing atmosphere and some nice warm weather.Hayden Wilde
I was outclassed today as the others boy were extremely strong and I wasn’t there on the bike and run today. Jonny and Matt were pushing and pushing all day so I’m just stoked to hold onto third. Having the gravel [on the bike course] and being in the middle of nowhere was amazing, and it’s really nice to finish here with an amazing atmosphere and some nice warm weather.
While Wilde had the overall 2022 Championship honours, it’d be Australia’s Hauser, 24, who reigned supreme in Saudi. The Aussie ended a dramatic series of crashes and disputed false start decisions to secure the stage win after breaking away from the decorated Brit Jonny Brownlee, 32, on the day’s final run leg. Hauser’s win saw him finish second overall in the series ahead of Brownlee, with Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca in fourth and New Zealand’s Tayler Reid fifth.
The day’s results saw the Scorpions dramatically secure the teams title ahead of the Sharks by just two points, with $120,000 shared between the men and women on the team.
Today’s format was the famous Super League three-stage Enduro, the unrivalled mix of speed and stamina last used in Munich, Germany, in Round 2, where Hauser was the winner.
The three back-to-back stages tasked athletes with a 300m swim in the warm, salty and buoyant Red Sea, before a single lap 4km bike leg on a mix of gravel and asphalt surfaces, before a final 1.6km run.
Hauser and the USA’s Chase McQueen instantly battled on the swim, yet it was South Africa’s Jamie Riddle who was once again the first out of the water and across the mount line with his bike to secure a Short Chute for the Eagles.
With the heat hitting 30°C, plenty of crosswinds to deal with and the duo of tricky gravel sections, the unique bike course posed plenty of challenges for the riders. A main pack soon formed at the front, with Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca the first to exit T2 to score a Short Chute, this time for the Rhinos.
Stage 1’s run witnessed the familiar but always fantastic sight of Jonny Brownlee leading the way, the multi-world and Olympic Games medal-winning Brit pushing the pace and keeping that advantage throughout to earn himself a Short Chute on the day’s final run leg.
Brownlee was passed by Aussie Matt Hauser by the first buoy of Stage 2’s swim, with the field now stretching out into a single line. It would be Hauser who’d exit the Red Sea first ahead of Brownlee, with New Zealand’s Tayler Reid and Wilde in close contention.
A gang of four of Brownlee, Hauser, Wilde and Reid formed soon onto the bike leg, and it would remain that way throughout with the chase pack led by McQueen failing to eat into their advantage.
The four would soon become a three on the run leg, with Reid swiftly dropped and 15secs in arrears by the finale. The duel in the desert would seemingly come down to Brownlee, Wilde and Hauser, but with Hauser and Brownlee both in possession of a Short Chute.
The three dived into the warm and buoyant waters for a final time, with Hauser taking to the front and exiting the Red Sea seconds ahead of Brownlee and Wilde.
All three athletes struggled to get their feet into their bike shoes at the start of the final bike leg, the sight encapsulating the relentless pace demanded by the Enduro format. Wilde was notably the only athlete using the tri-bars on the bike (which won’t be allowed in 2023’s Super League Championship Series) but he still couldn’t create the daylight needed to drop his Neom rivals.
Hauser and Brownlee instantly used their Short Chutes at the start of the run to create a sizeable gap between themselves and Wilde. And it was Hauser who next created a gap between himself and Brownlee, putting his foot down to produce a 20m buffer seemingly within seconds. That advantage would remain to the finish, with Hauser crossing the line 7secs ahead of Brownlee and 26secs over Wilde.
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