Did you blink? Did you turn away? It’s always best not to because Super League Triathlon has just had two back to back Championship Weekends, firstly in Malta, then followed immediately with a weekend in Mallorca. The spectacle was incredible, and now as the dust settles, we caught up with two of the sports biggest names, Vicky Holland and Javier Gomez, to get their perspective on how things played out.
Vicky was desperate to race the full series, but a lack of fitness had prevented her joining the field, despite this she had a fantastic weekend in Mallorca, spending time in the commentary box, and providing expert analysis on the racing.
“I think Super League as a whole is brilliant, it’s fun, it’s innovative, and I think it does a really great job of showcasing athletes. I loved it in Mallorca, seeing it from the other side, being there to spectate, commentate, and support. Being involved with the team that runs SLT was amazing, but I also loved being able to watch the events, hopefully, learn a bit about how to be successful at those events, and watch different athletes show what they could do.”
There was no keeping Javier away from the racing, despite not being able to compete himself, as he was just off the back of Kona, he had insisted on being part of the SLT party by entering a relay team into the age group competition.
“It was fun, definitely a different racing experience for me, but I wanted to be part of the event, it was a good way to be involved, and get closer to the age groupers. It was a great experience, totally different, but still a lot of fun.”
His relay team consisted of some “fairly” well-known names in the triathlon world… Mario Mola, and Mario’s brother Lucas Mola. Mario has been recovering from a recent injury, but saw an opportunity to be involved in the action by joining the age group field and having some fun on the course.No guesses on which team was the fastest out there – I suppose you saw that coming!
As current world champion, Vicky knows triathlon inside out, and still enjoys the racing from a fan’s perspective. She was thrilled to see the race shaken up in Mallorca, especially in the women’s field.
“The fact we had someone win like Taylor Spivey (in Mallorca) was brilliant. It shows that different athletes can excel. Katie (Zaferes) has won each round before that, and Vincent (Luis) has won everything this year, but to see Taylor (Spivey) win, that was really cool. For someone who has not had that level of success really on the World Series yet, to see her succeed in SLT is great for her own development, but also great for the sport. It shows that different people can succeed at some of these slightly different formats.”
Javier had received the full SLT fans-eye view of the weekend, not only watching the racing, but also getting an understanding of what it feels like to race as an age grouper at one of the SLT events.
“It was pretty relaxed, my weekend wasn’t like the main race, we were all joking before the start, but then you go out and you go hard anyway. We all had a good time which was the most important thing.”
He was under no illusions about how he’d fare against the pro field if he’d been dropped in with the level of talent we saw on display over the course of the two weekends racing.
“I don’t think I’d be up there with the leaders. Right now I don’t see myself racing these guys, they are fit, and they are fast. If I was fit I could probably be up there, maybe not fast enough to win, but enjoying it, at the moment I wouldn’t be ready for that.”
From the outside looking in what does he think SLT brings to triathlon?
“It brings excitement, a lot of excitement. It is a very tough race, and I’ve lived that myself, I’ve felt it, but watching it is just so exciting. Being a spectator is great, and it seems easy from the outside, but when you are there it is such a tough format. It is very honest and very fair.”
Will we see Javier back racing at an SLT event in the future?
“Hopefully, it would be great. I mean I think I’d do alright.”
We now go into the winter break before the series finale in Singapore, everything will be on the line as the athletes got for the overall victory. Nothing is set in stone yet as the leaders in both the men’s and women’s field are still within touching distance. Does Vicky plan to be in Singapore?
“When I left Mallorca I was begging to be on the ground in Singapore!”
It goes without saying we’ll see you in Singapore on 23-24 February, but stay close to our channels until then as there will be plenty to see between then and now!