Santara Tech Eagles’ Jeanne Lehair produced one of Super League Triathlon’s greatest running legs, soaring into pole position late on the day’s final run leg to leave the RTP Sharks’ Sophie Coldwell and Taylor Spivey of the RTS Warriors trailing in her wake.

The 27-year-old, who recently switched allegiances from France to Luxembourg, looked to have been cut adrift numerous times on the Enduro nine-stage format, but her persistence and two-legged prowess delivered her first Super League Triathlon Championship title and a debut win for her Eagles team, coached by Londoner Tim Don, in 2023’s Championship Series.

“I had a really bad day on the bike, but I was running really well, maybe because of coming down from altitude [training],” said an ecstatic Lehair at the finish. “I can’t believe it right now as I never thought that I would win this race, but wow! I’m really happy for my Eagles team as well and hopefully I’ve taken some points for them.”

The fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Series that has rebooted triathlon for both athletes and spectators alike aptly took place in London, a city that’s hosted more SLT Championship and Arena Games Triathlon Powered by Zwift events than any other metropolis in the world.

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The route followed the same course as the 2022 London Championship event, which saw Olympic medallist Cassandre Beaugrand taking the first victories of the season.

Super League Triathlon’s classic yet brutal Enduro format utilised, essentially being a non- stop burst of nine back-to-back triathlon disciplines without any breaks (or a 300m swim-4km bike-1.6km run leg repeated continuously three times in a row).

The 90-second rule in place where any athlete that falls 90 seconds or more off the leader’s pace at the end of any individual lap is shown the Yellow Elimination Flag and is out of the race.

stage 1

A dive into West India Quay for the 300m dock swim leg began 2023’s Championship Series, with deep crowds of triathlon fans flanking the banks of the water. The first swim leg was dominated by coach Michelle Dillon’s all-British Sharks outfit, who took the race by the scruff of the neck with Sophie Coldwell the first out of the water ahead of teammates Kate Waugh, Olivia Mathias and Beth Potter, with only Kirsten Kasper of the Warriors breaking into the top five positions. The day’s first Short Chute card was also scooped by the Sharks.

Superleague Triathlon 2023

After Transition 1 (T1) it was straight into the tight and technical 4km bike leg, and the Shark’s dominance continued with Coldwell leading the charge narrowly ahead of Waugh, Mathias, Potter and fellow Shark Jess Fullagar. The experienced Warriors Taylor Spivey and Kasper were in their slipstream, however, on the draft-legal course. The rest of the field, meanwhile, were already between eight and 45-seconds in arrears at the 3km stage of the bike. Come the bike leg’s final lap and Spivey took control of the pacing at the front of the bike, leading into Transition 2 (T2) by 1.5secs over Potter and the race’s second Short Chute.

Onto the 1.6km run and Potter, fresh from winning the Olympic test event in Paris earlier in August, was into the lead on the cobbled course. The Brit’s advantage was 3.4secs over the chasers at the bell, with racers already donning their swim caps ahead of the Enduro’s second stage.

stage 2

Onto Stage 2’s 300m swim and the Sharks were still in control, with Potter and Waugh leading the charge. Luxembourg’s Jeanne Lehair had run her way into the top five, however, to ensure the Eagles remained in contention for overall honours, unlike the Scorpions. Potter was first out of the water, with Spivey just 1.2secs behind.

Spivey surged straight to the front of the second 4km bike leg, chased by five Sharks and then Lehair and Kasper. The pace was relentless, with a 30sec buffer between the eight leaders and chase pack, with Lehair clinging to the back of the leaders, and athletes regularly being eliminated at the rear of the field due to the 90-second rule.

Spivey was first onto the second 1.6km run leg, just a second ahead of Potter and Mathias, with Coldwell pushing into the lead and ready to take her team’s Short Chute prize. At the bell, a gang of four had broken free of the chasers, with one from Coldwell, Potter, Spivey and Lehair looking like the overall London champion.

Superleague Triathlon 2023

stage 3

The final 300m swim leg saw Kate Waugh battle her way back into contention. Coldwell led the pack of five out of the liquid and into T1, just seconds ahead of Spivey but Potter’s slow transition time saw her fall nearly 4secs behind.

Two of short-course triathlon’s strongest bikers, Coldwell and Spivey, were now in command on the day’s final 4km bike leg, and each with a Short Chute to utilise. But Lehair, Waugh and Potter rode their way back into the reckoning, with the formidable five entering T2 together for the deciding run leg.

Onto the final 1.6km run leg, and could the proven run prowess of Potter and Lehair battle against Coldwell and Spivey and their Short Chute trump cards? Spivey and Coldwell were straight into the lead with Potter lurking 1.4secs behind. The two Short Chutes were taken early on the run, the lead instantly increasing from three to fifteen metres.

The win looked set to be taken by Coldwell and Spivey, but Lehair just wouldn’t drop from their shadow and was shoulder-to-shoulder with the leaders with 500m to go. Lehair made her move with 400m left, the move proving decisive with Coldwell and Spivey having no answer to one of Super League Triathlon’s all-time great run legs.

After nine frenetic disciplines, Jeanne Lehair would take the win for Tim Don’s Eagles ahead of Coldwell and Spivey, with Potter coming home in fourth and Waugh fifth.

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