Races › Championship
23 Sep 2021
4 min read
There are 185,000 good reasons for Jess Learmonth to triumph once more in the Super League Triathlon 2021 Championship Series with short course’s richest month coming to a dramatic finale.
Victory in Malibu would stand to earn Learmonth $185,000 for her month’s work, while even the three athletes battling for third place know there is the difference between $25,000 and $10,000 for triumphing in edging ahead in the Series standings alone.
Here are a few of the headline figures, and where the $1.25m prize purse could get shared out:
With $20,000 for a race win, Learmonth has already bagged $60,000. She is also in pole position to take the Championship Series title, and with it another $50,000.
She leads the swim and bike disciplines, which carry winner takes all prizes of $20,000. And of course there is another $20,000 on offer for winning Malibu.
Learmonth is also a leading member of the SLT Eagles who look nailed on for a top prize that will see each team member pick up another $15,000.
So if she takes the Malibu win, and stays atop of the discipline leaderboards and the SLT Eagles win, it’s $185,000. Not bad for four weekends of racing.
As it stands Georgia Taylor-Brown has secured $45,000 for three second place finishes. She is likely to land either the $50,000 top prize for winning the Championship Series or $35,000 for coming second. She also tops the run leaderboard.
Even another second place would see her secure $125,000 for the Series. A win, securing the run discipline she currently leads and the title on the final day? Well that would mean a pay day of $140,000 – before her SLT Teams payout, which looks like adding another $10,000 to whatever she has earned.
It’s an intriguing battle for third and there is a serious incentive – as well as the medal – for doing well.
Earnings so far are:
Vicky Holland – $18,500
Beth Potter – $18,000
Katie Zaferes – $15,000
Of course there are the individual race prize purses to chase, but in the overall Series leaderboard it’s $25,000 for third, $15,000 for fourth and $10,000 for fifth. That’s some serious reasons to go hard in Malibu, as well as contributing points to their respective teams.
With three different winners in the three races, the men’s payouts are so far more even:
Jonny Brownlee – $40,000
Vincent Luis – $37,500
Hayden Wilde – $36,000
Alex Yee – $35,000
The big difference will come not only in the final race prize purse but that for the Series. With the winner taking $50,000, it’s all to play for, and somebody is likely to break the $100,000 mark before even SLT Teams and discipline leaderboards are taken into account.
The SLT Eagles look to have it sewn up, meaning a handy $15,000 for each of their squad.
There are 46 points separating the rest of the SLT Teams. Though it’s unlikely the Rhinos would suddenly rise from the bottom to second, there is scope for plenty of movement below the SLT Eagles, especially with some big hitters being drafted in.
The difference to the athletes is significant. It’s $10,000 per athlete for the second place team, down to $2,500 for last place.
For the athletes who have yet to earn any prize money and who won’t figure in the Championship Series top five, there is a lot of incentive to do whatever it takes for the team.
They are winner takes all $20,000. In the women’s the maths is fairly simple. Jess Learmonth sits atop swim and bike. Barring a final race meltdown, only Vittoria Lopes even stands the remotest of chances of taking the swim while she Learmonth has an even bigger buffer in the bike. That looks like $40,000 right there, but for Lopes there is every reason to just go for the swim and not really worry about the rest of the race.
Lopes is on the SLT Eagles, so despite no top tens and only one Championship Series point earned so far, she could bag $35,000 if she just guns the swim.
The run is a straight shootout between Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown with the latter the more likely.
The men’s swim is between teammates Matt Hauser and Vincent Luis who are tied at the top. They have worked together so far. However, will Hauser really sacrifice his chance of a $20,000 pay day to let Luis get the points, the discipline cash and, of course, the first Short Chute?
Seth Rider is well ahead in the bike and looks like bagging a very nice $35,000 pay day courtesy of also being part of the SLT Eagles. He has also picked up $6,500 in race prize money as well, proving Super League Triathlon offers chances to young athletes they can get nowhere else.
Hayden Wilde has a lead in the run, but it’s the big guns of Luis and Brownlee threatening him.
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