SLT Stat Crunch: Can Beaugrand’s Tactics Derail Zaferes Again?

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Katie Zaferes may have to consider altering her tactics to try and dethrone Cassandre Beaugrand at Super League Malta.

The defending Series champion was beaten by the French star in both the Semi-Final and Final at RBC Super League Jersey 2019.

The lack of a bike leg due to the high winds certainly played into Beaugrand’s hands in the Final, but it seems the damage was really done in the swim.

Super League’s data analyst, Graeme Acheson, walks us through what has happened and looks ahead to Malta.

Swim

The interesting thing here is how Beaugrand always got the jump on Zaferes in the first swim. Despite the fact that historically their swim data is very similar, Beaugrand always emerged from the first swim ahead of Zaferes, and never relinquished that lead. Was that just good tactics, good swim positioning, or was she just putting the hammer down on the first swim to get away? Either way, her first swim was always her fastest of the race, whereas the first swim of Zaferes was always her slowest. The race was won right there in my opinion. Beaugrand beat Zaferes out the water by five seconds in both of the first swims.

Bike

There were very distinct differences between the two Semi-Finals. The first one was much quicker than the second, aside from Rachel Klamer and Sophie Coldwell in the second Semi-Final who rode away by themselves. This was likely due to the wind conditions and the fact that the bike packs behave in different ways. Zaferes was controlling that bike pack in the first Semi-Final and trying to catch up Beaugrand. She likely pushed the pace of that race higher. Emma Jeffcoat’s puncture cost her 1kph round the course, and she wasn’t the slowest overall. Impressive from her.

Run

The fastest run split was Beaugrand on the second Semi-Final run, where she ran away from Zaferes to take the win. She was 11 seconds faster than her first run, whereas Zaferes was four seconds slower than her first run. Luisa Baptista’s barefoot running was stronger than Kristian Blummenfelt’s – her rate of slowing was not as severe.

Overall

Olivia Mathias was the out-performer. She didn’t have any standout legs, but just was consistently fast throughout. Vittoria Lopes too did much better than expected in the final. Generally, the women were more consistent than the men as there weren’t any major under-performers.

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