One Down And One To Go In Dramatic Super League Triathlon Qualifier Showdown

Victory for Emma Jeffcoat and Andreas Schilling at the first Super League Triathlon (SLT) Qualifier in Poland as 10 pro athletes qualify for the Championship Series

Saturday 30 June 2018 – Poznan, Poland: After a gruelling two-day battle for Super League Triathlon qualification in Poznan, Poland, on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 June, Andreas Schilling (DEN) and Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) claimed the top spots of the men’s and women’s Super League Triathlon Qualifier races in spectacular style.

In warm and sunny conditions, both Jeffcoat and Schilling were awarded two of the ten ‘Golden Ticket’ qualification spots on Saturday for the 2018-19 SLT Championship Series, along with eight further athletes across the men’s and women’s races who also qualified for the main series events this season.

Women’s Golden Ticket Winners:

  1. Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) 50 points
  2. Desirae Ridenour (CAN) 42 points
  3. Maria Czesnik (POL) 34 points
  4. Erin Densham (AUS) 32 points
  5. Klaudia Sebok (HUN) 30 points

Men’s Golden Ticket Winners:

  1. Andreas Schilling (DEN) 50 points
  2. Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) 42 points
  3. Matthew Sharpe (CAN) 34 points
  4. Kevin McDowell (USA) 32 points
  5. Jonas Schomburg (GER) 30 points

Friday saw professionals from all over the world go head to head in the Triple Mix race, a format that tests the versatility and adaptability of the triathletes by throwing the traditional swim-bike-run sequence out the window and mixing the disciplines over three stages.

In their quest for qualification, Friday’s Triple Mix featured a wealth of talent, including Australia’s Olympic bronze medalist Erin Densham and her compatriot Emma Jeffcoat, as well as Danish Olympian Andreas Schilling and the Swiss National Team’s Andrea Salvisberg.

In the women’s race, it was the Australian Emma Jeffcoat who finished top for the day with 25 points (pts), followed by Desirae Ridenour (CAN) on 21 pts, Maria Czesnik (POL) on 18 pts in third, Klaudia Sebok (HUN) on 16 pts in fourth, and Erin Densham (AUS) in fifth on 14 pts.

In the men’s race, Andreas Schilling (DEN) topped the board on 25 pts, followed by Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) on 21 pts, Kevin McDowell (USA) in third on 18 pts, Matthew Sharpe (CAN) on 16 pts in fourth and Jonas Schomburg (GER) in fifth place on 14 pts. For a more in-depth report on the Triple Mix, see the footer.

Triple Mix:

Stage 1 – Swim-Bike-Run (10-minute break)

Stage 2 – Run-Bike-Swim (10-minute break)

Stage 3 – Bike-Swim-Run

 

Saturday was the day of the pressure-packed Enduro race, considered the most brutal of the formats. The Enduro is a test of endurance and tactics with three non-stop bursts of swim-bike-run without any break. The added element of speed tied to endurance is added to the Enduro by segmenting each discipline of the stage with a live elimination. The slowest two athletes at the end of each stage are eliminated immediately. The pace is critical from the starter’s gun to the finish line. Athletes must have the speed in all disciplines to remain in the race as well as the endurance to hold on and win the race itself.

Enduro:

Stage 1 – Swim-Bike-Run (continue)

Stage 2 – Swim-Bike-Run (continue)

Stage 3 – Swim-Bike-Run

Today’s women’s Enduro race proved brutal in the with the repeated swim-bike-run format on the tight course once again exposing the ruthless and harsh nature of SLT racing. Emma Jeffcoat found her racing form and was dominant from the first swim, opening up a 15-second gap on Desirae Ridenour and Erin Densham onto the first bike ride. Young Hungarian Klaudia Sebok was strong after a great first swim but was openly fatigued and struggling after the previous day’s racing. It was Polish star Maria Czesnik on home turf who moved dramatically through the field and onto the first run.  Emma Jeffcoat extended her lead on the bike and onto the run and from this point on she remained unchallenged for the duration, with the race for the Championship Series slot being her focal point.

Jeffcoat extended her lead in the second swim and threatened the entire field, eliminating Musgrove at the end of the swim. Jeffcoat cruised to win the race and overall event with Ridenour unable to close the gap on the final stage. Olympic bronze medalist Erin Densham returned to racing form and showed her experience by strategically positioning herself in the hunt for a top four overall finish and a Golden Ticket to the Championship.

From the onset, the men’s Enduro format was a race of pace and Tyler Mislawchuk surprised everyone with an incredible swim start and an early gap to lead the swim from Sharpe, Schomburg and McDowell. It was obvious that clean transitions and no mistakes would play a vital role in the Enduro format, with eight athletes establishing themselves early on, who went on to eliminate others from the race thanks to the lapping rule. Mislawchuk was able to cruise through the first run before entering the water again with a small lead ahead of Sharpe, Schomburg, Schilling, Abuin Ares (SPA) and McDowell. The second swim split the entire field and from this point, the race was at the front. The second race remained tactical with all six athletes storming up the field and making it a race of six for the five Golden Tickets.

A poor transition after the third swim alienated Abuin Ares and it was now a race of finishing positions. Mislawchuk looked the freshest of all and pushed the pace on the run, making a sharp move at the 1,200 metre mark on the climb. Schilling and Sharpe were the only two who could respond to the tactical move. In a carbon copy of yesterday’s racing, Mislawchuk took the inside run into the home straight with a small gap over Demark’s Schilling. The Dane timed his run to perfection once again and ran over the top of Mislawchuk on the line to win the day’s Enduro race and pick up a perfect 50 point score overall. Mislawchuk took the runner’s up place overall, with Sharpe in third, and Schomburg holding off McDowell in fourth to round off the top five.

All 10 athletes who qualified this weekend in Poznan will race in the SLT Championship Series. This kicks off in Jersey on 29-30 September, then travels to Malta, Mallorca, Singapore and Australia throughout the season. 10 more ‘Golden Ticket’ qualifying spots are still up for grabs at the SLT Qualifiers in Penticton, Canada, on 17-19 August, which will complete the 50 race place line-up for the Championship Series.

Speaking fresh from her Qualifier win in Poznan, Emma Jeffcoat said:

“I’m thrilled to come to Poznan and execute on exactly what I came here for – a ticket into the Championship Series. I love to race hard from the go and the Super League formats reward that! I’ll be working hard now to put my best foot forward to hopefully earn a spot on the podium at the Championship Series starting in Jersey.”

Winner of the men’s Qualifier event Andreas Schilling said:

“I am really pleased to get the win. I always want to test my limits and Super League is a great opportunity to do so. To get my spot in the Championship Series means that I can test myself against the best in the world.”

SLT’s CEO and co-founder Michael D’hulst said:

 It was a fantastic three-day sports festival and we are very happy with the first ever Super League Triathlon Qualifier here in beautiful Poland! We saw some incredible racing for the Championship slots. Thank you so much to all the athletes and the great support of Poznan to host us and to welcome us with fantastic Polish hospitality.”

Witnessing the battle for SLT qualification in Poznan were crowds of up to 5,000. Beyond these professional races, 2,300 budding amateur athletes flocked to the beautiful Polish city for a variety of Age Group races across varying disciplines, including Half Distance, Quarter Distance, Relay, and even the Semilac Women’s Run. The Age Group races finish tomorrow, concluding what will be an incredible three days of professional and amateur racing.

For imagery from Friday and Saturday’s Qualifier races in Poznan, click here. For details on the next Qualifier race in Penticton, Canada, visit superleaguecanada.com. Check out superleaguetriathlon.com for all information on SLT.