Races › Championship › Malta
26 Oct 2018
4 min read
Malta'18 ○ season'18
Today, things got serious as Stage 1 of the Equalizer, the Swim Individual Time Trial (ITT), kicked off the weekend’s racing! This flat-out, solo effort set the starting order for Stage 2 of the Equalizer on Sunday, so every second counted as the athletes left it all out in the water.
The female field went up first – set off in reverse ranking order. The first four women to take to the course were Taylor Spivey (USA), Yuko Takahashi (JPN), Sarah Alexander (USA) and Klaudia Sebok (HUN).
Taylor was first out of the water setting a blistering time of 07:04 with Yuko just behind at 07:10 (+00:06). The rest of the female field came and went but no one came close to dislodging Taylor until Katie Zaferes (USA) took to the water and looked to be a challenger to the first two ladies back. Katie came in at 07:11 (+00:07) taking third.
Having competed in Jersey 2017, Taylor had to miss the opening race of this series so was pleased to have made a statement in Malta. “I was nervous going first – I like to chase and not be chased. Happy to come away with the win, I took the smartest lines on the course and got a chance to show what I was capable of.”
Yuko, one of SLT’s newcomers, was really happy to experience something new in racing “It was a very nice course – I just went flat out.”
Pre-race blue swim jersey holder Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) finished in seventh with a time of 07:16 (+00:12). “It was a bit like being back in the ocean at home but I’d love some waves next time Macca! In reality if you’re more than 90 seconds down then you’re out so some of the back end better watch out.”
As soon as the women were finished, the men took to the course – exactly the same format, and with equal desire to take the lead going into the rest of the weekend.
Ollie Turner (JER) was the first male athlete into the water and held off those behind him to take a fleeting lead setting 07:24. However, he was soon beaten into second place by Luke Schofield (AUS) who set 07:20, but it wasn’t until later in the running order that the big guns got to fire.
Henri Schoeman (RSA), the pre-race favourite, hit the water hard and kept the pace up throughout. He set an astounding 06:31 with Vincent Luis (FRA) following just behind at 06:42 (+00:11). Jonas Schomburg (GER) rounded off the podium with a time of 06:46 (+00:15).
Henri had looked to take advantage of his strength in the swim to get a march on his rivals “I felt good – I mean I was burning quite a bit after 100m. My arms are pretty tight but I’m really happy I won it. Gives me a good advantage into Stage 2.”
Vincent was predictably laid back about his time loss
“it was as hard as I expected, but it’s only the first day eh.”
Jonny Brownlee came in looking to keep as close to Henri and Vincent as he possibly could but only managed sixth on the day with a time of 06:54 (+00:23).
“It was tough on your own out there so I went as hard as I could. I wasn’t sure how to pace it but I enjoyed it, it was nice to do a swim where you’re not fighting people.”
Richard Murray (RSA) trailed home in fifteenth setting a time of 07:21 (+00:50), time he’ll have to make up over the course of the coming weekend. “I think that was pretty much right – I felt good and did the best I could. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. Kind of happy with the swim.”
Coming up next…
Interested to find out the exact timings for the Swim ITT? Get the full results HERE! The athletes will be taking as much recovery as they can get going into the evening as the Eliminator kicks off tomorrow – with the pontoon placings decided by the Slot Draw it’ll be a fight for position going into the first swim then a fight for survival as the racing intensifies.
Who will come out on top as things heat up even more? Tune in to find out as the racing is not to be missed!
Check out the latest videos and news on social media @superleaguetriathlon, Super League Triathlon and @SuperLeagueTri to keep up to date with the latest activities on leading up to race weekend!
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