#Superwrap For The Super League Mallorca Weekend!
“So with 300m to go I went full gas, and he couldn’t catch me. I thought to myself, he played his card, so now I will play mine.”
With that single comment the weekend was over, Vincent Luis had underlined his class with a quote, which not only betrayed his racing instinct, but also his rock solid self-belief, and single minded determination to succeed above all others. So now as the dust settles in Porto Cristo it is time for us to look back at what was one of the most epic weekends of racing in triathlon history.
Super League Triathlon (SLT) came to Mallorca off the back of a fantastic weekend in Malta, looking to back up the class shown with another solid display of frantic racing. Well we certainly managed it – from the start you could sense the desire to win in the air, the determination by all of the athletes to go into the winter break having given everything, and left nothing.
The weekend was set as follows:
Saturday: Age Group Enduro (Relay) Stage 1 Women’s Triple Mix | Men’s Triple Mix
Sunday: Women’s Sprint Enduro – Heats 1 & 2 Men’s Sprint Enduro |Heats 1 & 2 Age Group Enduro (Relay) | Stage 2 Women’s Sprint Enduro | Stage 2 Men’s Sprint Enduro – Stage 2
The Age Group Enduro (Relay), spread over two days, saw some very lucky amateur triathletes joined by some of the sports very best performers. Javier Gomez, Mario Mola, Alistair Brownlee, and Chris McCormack, were all part of the action, so some very happy competitors got to test themselves against the very best, and will dine out on those stories for a long time.
The winners of the Age Group Enduro (Relay) were Team Angry Boys consisting of a Russian duo, Kirill Goldovsky and Dmitry Rostyagaev. Some impressive racing across the two days saw these athletes go shoulder to shoulder with the some iconic names in the sport. A lot of fun was had throughout, and it set the scene perfectly on both days for the professional ranks later in the day.
On the Saturday both professional fields took on the Triple Mix, made up of three stages:
Stage 1 – Swim – Bike – Run
Stage 2 – Run – Bike – Swim
Stage 3 – Bike – Swim – Run
Each stage had a ten min break in-between to give the athletes minimal time to recover then go again. The racing was intense from the start, with shoulder to shoulder action throughout in both fields. On the women’s side it was Katie Zaferes who managed to take the win in the final stage despite some stiff competition from Taylor Spivey and Kirsten Kasper. For the men, despite complaining of being ill, it was Henri Schoeman who started his weekend well and took the first day.
Day two had the professional athletes undertaking the brand new Sprint Enduro, which had both fields split into two heats (swim-bike-run) in the morning to decide who went through to the main event in the afternoon. The top four finishers from heats one and two would go through, joined by the next two fastest finishers for either heat. There was an added bonus with the winner of each heat being given the Short Chute to use in the afternoon race, but only on the run portion.
Kasper and Spivey won their respective heats in the morning giving themselves the Short Chute for the afternoon’s proceedings. They would be joined in the afternoon’s race by Katie Zaferes, Rachel Klamer, Joanna Brown, Jodie Stimpson, Charlotte McShane, Summer Cook, Emma Jeffcoat, and Yuko Takahashi.
In the men’s heats Jonny Brownlee and Luis took the victories and with them the Short Chute. In the main race they would be joined by Igor Polyanskiy, Tommy Zaferes, Marten Van Riel, Henri Schoeman, Richard Murray, Ben Kanute, Hayden Wilde, and Léo Bergere.
What happened in the afternoon was nothing short of astounding. Both of the elite groups of qualifiers raced the final of the Sprint Enduro (swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run) with 100% commitment from the very start. As a result we saw some of the most scintillating racing the world of triathlon has ever witnessed.
In the women’s race Kasper led the second swim coming out in the lead for a second time, only Zaferes was able to bridge the gap on the second bike as the two Americans shared the lead. A group formed going into the final run, but it was Spivey who attacked building a slight lead.
Spivey didn’t take her Short Chute on the first lap, but Kasper did, and took the lead. Could she hold on until the end? Or would Spivey manage the gap, and use her Short Chute to take the win?
It came down to the final lap with Kasper still leading when Spivey took her Short Chute on the final corner blasting to the front of the race. It was now a sprint to the line with both Spivey and Kasper giving their all to try to take the win.
Spivey gave it everything into the final corner, and held off a fast moving Kasper to take a well-earned victory. Zaferes, having hit the deck earlier in the race, finished third, proving she is a worthy champion and worthy series leader.
Spivey was pleased with her day and pleased to be part of such an exciting finale.
“That was so hard, it was really exciting and the Short Chute mixed it up, but gave me a real advantage today. I didn’t feel too strong at all throughout the race, but towards the end of the bike I could tell the other girls were hurting. I saved the Short Chute until the last lap as I knew I wanted to give them minimal time to chase.”
In the men’s, as soon as the final run began Brownlee attacked, building a small lead. He took his Short Chute on the first lap putting even more time into Luis. Brownlee now had to hold the lead until the finish, putting enough time into Luis to negate the Short Chute Luis was yet to take.
On the final lap of the run Luis took his Short Chute getting a narrow lead over Brownlee then put in a surge of his own.
You could see the effort painted all over both men’s faces as they chased for the line, but it was Luis who held on for the win. Brownlee was close behind and Schoeman took the third spot on the podium.
Luis was quick to point out how hard the race had been and how much he’d had to put into it.
“That was a tough race, I had to focus on Henri and Jonny, and Jonny was really strong. He played his card, taking the Short Chute early, and when he did I knew it was full gas until the end. I still have a good kick, so with 300m to go I went full gas, and he couldn’t catch me. I thought to myself, he played his card, so now I will play mine.”
So now we move into the winter break and the build up towards our Championship Final in Singapore, 23-24 February. Everything will be on the line as the first full season of SLT racing comes to a close, not to be missed!
Do not turn away for even a moment though, SLT will be bringing you more action, more content, more stories, and more entertainment over the next few months as we blast into 2019 ready to race hard again!
So go get some recovery, stay hydrated, keep supple, and pay close attention to all of our channels as we continue our takeover and transformation of triathlon. SLT is here to stay, so hold on tight!
Standings SLT Mallorca
Sprint Enduro – Stage 2
- Taylor Spivey (USA)
- Kirsten Kasper (USA)
- Katie Zaferes (USA)
Overall Series Standings
- Katie Zaferes (USA) – 71 Pts
- Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 54 Pts
- Rachel Klamer (USA) – 40 Pts
Sprint Enduro – Stage 2
- Vincent Luis (FRA)
- Jonny Brownlee (GBR)
- Henri Schoeman (RSA)
Overall Series Standings
- Vincent Luis (FRA) – 75 Pts
- Henri Schoeman (RSA)- 63 Pts
- Jonny Brownlee (GBR) – 48 Pts