Macca’s picks for Malta: Can Anyone Dislodge Luis?

Vincent Luis has re-established his position as the dominant force in men’s Super League racing after an impressive victory in the opening race of the 2019/2020 Championship Series in Jersey. The question is whether anyone can topple him in Malta?

It’s certainly a big ask given Luis’s remarkable form, but with the second race of the Series around the corner on 19-20 October there are a few athletes that have their eyes on doing exactly that.

We asked Super League co-founder and four-time triathlon World Champion, Chris McCormack, for his picks from the men’s field..

Vincent Luis

When you reflect on your career, you look back and you realise that momentum and time are critical and the purple patch of your career just flows from that. Vincent Luis, in my opinion, has entered this phase of his racing career and is flawless in all he does.

In SLT racing, where mistakes are punished and strategic racing alongside athlete’s physicality and skill is the benchmark, right now Vincent sets the bar, and the rest are looking at how to dislodge him.

The course in Malta suits him perfectly. Even the bike TT against the data-proven stronger athletes will not be enough. He is too balanced, cunning and firing to be upset.

It will take some serious belief from a competitor to disrupt this flow, and the question needs to be asked, does anyone in the field have the courage, conviction and belief to go after that and roll him?

Henri Schoeman

Henri is as balanced and as technically proficient as Vincent, but lacks the knockout punch to put Vincent on the canvas. He has been on the receiving end of too much punishment from Vincent, and coming in to this series off some sickness and season issues, is not the best head space or physicality Henri needs to beat him.

As a racer he is a front runner, and to some degree this sets Vincent up as he has such a devastating kick. I think Henri will enjoy the deeper swim pace this year and could capitalise on his lightening fast starts which we are seeing are even more important now in this racing.

Look for Henri to be in the mix, and with the Semi-Finals not requiring him to go as deep into the red zone on the Saturday, it might give him some of that additional punch he has lacked when he has had to back up on events.

He should podium. Can he win? He has to work to distance himself from Vincent, or be aggressive immediately on the run, and throw caution to the wind.

Kristin Blummenfelt

In my opinion, what Kristian potentially lacks in certain disciplines, he makes up for in heart and aggression, and has proven time and time again that fighting can outweigh finesse in SLT racing.

His strength is his strength and his throw caution to the wind attacking racing instantly has people on the back foot and uncomfortable, which can be unsettling to many. For this reason, he always enters my top three favourites at any race he does.

Within the high intensity SLT formats that test power and speed along with skillset more than any other racing style, he can be found out with a lack of areas on courses that allow him to run his engine at full gas.

Malta does not possess that problem for him and the long bike climbs and the longer flatter sections on bike and run will allow his strength to shine. I think he will love the downhill run section and use his leg speed to push this section.

He is the only athlete I think that can disrupt Vincent as it is his unpredictability that makes him hard to read. His bike strength will love this course, and the uphill run finish can take the speed and edge off the faster runners, which plays right into his racing style. I expect to see him race out of his skin on this course and under the Equaliser Format. It will come down to his early race swims.

These men go head to head again this week in Super League Triathlon Malta. Check out the startlists for Super League Malta here, or get a reminder for the livestream this weekend here!

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