Full results for Pro Tour, Sprint and Enticer below along with Enticer photo gallery.
Sam Douglas and Matilda Raynolds have taken out the first round of the NSW Pro Tour at Forster last weekend. Sam had to work hard to get over the top of his training partner Michael Murphy late in the run with Michael Fox finishing third. Matilda Raynolds had less trouble after coming out of the water with Bree Jones around 20secs behind Elyse Foster and Laura Cook. Matilda, the strongest of the girls on the bike remained calm and waited for the second lap on the technical bike course to make a break on one of the hills and was never trouble.
Over 350 triathletes raced the sprint and enticer distance triathlons on the Saturday at the inaugural Forster Ultimate Triathlon weekend. The weekend was a huge success with the overwhelming feeling being that the Forster Ultimate Triathlon is a weekend that will become another â€˜Huskisson long course’ weekend.
In the sprint race Travis Shields was the first age grouper home with Angie Sharp the first female age grouper home. Shields, fresh from a 15,000km â€˜around Australia’ cycling challenge, felt he was a bit under done and would struggle on the swim and run. Last season Shields won a round of the Sydney Sprint series while training for Ironman WA.
The swim in the Pro Tour was going to be a competitive one. Sam Douglas was one of the favourites to take the race out. “Kieren Roche, Michael Murphy, Michael Fox, and myself were all up in the mix at the front. We came out of the swim at the same time and all had the same plans – break away from the main group, and stay away, which meant transition needed to be quick! Douglas was out of T1 first and headed off to try and put a gap between himself and the field. “I looked over my shoulder to see both Michaels (Michael Murphy my training partner and Michael Fox) were right after me with no one else in sight. We all knew that the bunch had a few quick runners, so the plan was to ride some time into them and make them work to catch us. This seemed to work as the gap increased with each lap, and by the third lap we had a comfortable buffer for the run.”
T2 was quick and Sam soon had the lead. “200m in Michael Murphy came tearing past me and put a good gap between us. I tried to kick and hold the gap, but struggled to find form early on. I regained my form and slowly closed the gap over the final few kilometers. By the last kilometer I was feeling good and the run was now on the road, so I came up beside Murph and passed. Howver, Knowing Murph, I knew he would not give up easily as he is a gutsy racer! In the last 300m I lifted the leg speed and slowly pulled clear to finish across the line first by around 5 seconds”.
Murphy and Douglas are both trained by Mark Newton under the Hert banner.
Matilda Raynolds had a very set plan going in to this race and she stuck to it like glue. “My coach Spottie Dog Anderson and I agreed on a race plan and to further boost his ego my race went according to plan. Though I came out of the water third with Bree, we were able to catch first and second early on the bike and all four of us road together for the first lap of the three lap bike course”. The Pro Tour is a draft legal race and after a winter of criterium racing Raynolds was looking forward to the opportunity to test this type of racing out on her new TREK Madone. “Part way through lap one I did do a short breakaway to test the waters however the girls caught up. This may have hurt them a little as part way through lap two I attacked on the hill and ended up staying away and putting two minutes into them”.
Whilst never overly confident about the win until the finishline Matilda was able to spend the run focusing on her form and used this race as a good hitout in the leadup to Noosa which is her goal race. With a taper before Noosa Matilda should go well. Raynolds backed up for a 4th on Sunday in the Ultimate Triathlon however did not push herself as all. One of Matilda’s big takeaways from the Pro Tour race was to remain calm and stick to her race plan.
“From now on my focus for the season is on speed and learning as much as possible from racing elites along with reducing tan lines and trying to the fill the void of Australia being kicked out of the Rugby World Cup. This will be my first season racing in the professional ranks”.
Michael Fox had one of his better starts to the season. “It all came down to the run with Sam and myself having the smoother transitions and getting away from Murphy. This didn’t last to long as Murphy caught and surged past us. Sam managed to lift and slowly reeled Murphy back in but unfortunately I couldn’t go with them. From there Sam was able to get the better of Murphy”.
Fox swam and rode well but has some work to do with his running at this stage. “I think it is a good indication of where I’m at right now. It was a great weekend of racing. Emo just needs a carpet sponsor for transition for next year now!!” (Bindi’s in transition)
Finally from Sam… “I was very happy with my result, and glad to get the first race of the season in the legs. Forster is always a great destination for a race, and the team at Elite Energy always put on a great event so entry was a given. I would like to thank my Coach Mark Newton (who trains both Sam and Michael Murphy) and the guys who I train with. Also the boys in the race and spectators watching, It isn’t a race without you”.
Click here for more information on the Elite Energy triathlons calendar for the summer including the triseries and the Ultimate Triathlon which is being held in Wagga Wagga next. The Wagga Wagga race is also a NSW long course WC selection race.
Super League: When and How to Watch This Weekend’s Racing in Jersey
With only one day to go before Super League Jersey kicks off on 23-24 September 2017, live television broadcast and digital streaming will take the revolution of triathlon into the living rooms and personal devices of millions of triathlon and sports fans around the world.
Both men’s and women’s pro races will be aired as it happens, taking viewers up close to non-stop action, superstars and dark horses to root for, and pulse-pounding finishes where the athletes lay it all on the line in an exotic and iconic locale.
Super League Triathlon offers incredible TV and digital content output with our live race day television broadcasts, live race day digital streaming, and Video on Demand content in partnership with Lagardère Sports.
Here’s how to watch Super League Jersey wherever you are in the world.
If you are lazy like me, here’s a link for all your timezones for each event.
Europe & UK
Each day’s episode will be available On Demand on Eurosport Player.
Sportdeutschland.TV will carry each day’s broadcast as a livestream on their website.
Lesports is China’s top digital sports destination and will carry Super League Jersey live programming as a stream on its website.
Catch the action on television through the following providers in their corresponding regions.
L’Equipe will broadcast Super League Jersey live programming in France.
Super League Jersey will air on Russian public sports channel Match TV.
China, Hong Kong, Japan
Beijing Media Network will broadcast Super League Jersey live in China, Hong Kong, and Japan. Please consult local listings for channel particulars.
Super League Jersey will be broadcast on free-to-air TV channel Aksyon TV (UHF 41).
Fox Sports Australia will air live broadcasts from Jersey. Please consult local listings for channel particulars.
* Australian Eastern Standard Time
Sky New Zealand has exclusive airing rights for Super League Triathlon. Catch the live broadcasts over race weekend. Please consult local listings for channel particulars.
*New Zealand Standard Time
Super League Jersey will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
*Mountain Standard Time
Middle East and North Africa
OSN has acquired the rights to broadcast Super League Jersey across the Middle East and North Africa. Please consult local listings for channel particulars.
Super League Jersey will air live on Supersport. Please consult local listings for channel particulars.
Super League Jersey: A Look Behind The Numbers
Race numbers in Super League Triathlon serve to identify athletes not just in a single race, but across all races in a series, much like jersey numbers in basketball or football are heavily associated with the athletes who wear them. The highly visible and consistent race numbers will allow fans to keep track of their favorites throughout the fast and furious racing at all Super League Triathlon events. They also serve as another avenue for self-expression as these numbers become part of these athletes’ branding within Super League Triathlon. Two couples known to train, travel, and race together in the ITU are racing under the same numbers. Richard Murray and Rachel Klamer are number 07, while Mario Mola and Carolina Routier are number 03. At Super League Hamilton Island, Richard had taken the top spot while Mario was consistent and came in runner-up.
Super League Triathlon co-founder Chris McCormack surmises they may be banking on a relationship advantage, with both couples drawing strength from being in sync with each other. “I like Rachel and Richard; they are a super couple. She’s dynamic, she’s had success, she’s been European champion. Richard came into Super League Hamilton Island under the radar and maybe she’s going to take some pointers from the first Super League Triathlon champion.”
As for Mario and Carol, McCormack sees them as opposites attracting. “She’s best swimmer among the women, the Richard Varga on that side. And ironically Mola’s weakness is the swim and her weakness is the run. It’s interesting these dynamics bring these people together.”
McCormack found it interesting that none of the female athletes had taken the number 01, unlike Javier Gomez Noya on the men’s side who had without hesitation laid claim to the prime number. “Picking this number is also a statement of confidence and pressure. In all other sports, one signifies the best. Why did people shy away from this?” Macca asked.
The closest an athlete came was three-time world champion Laura Lindemann, who chose number 11 because she loves the number 1. Perhaps it was out of respect for the notable absence of one athlete that has cast her shadow over ITU and Olympic racing in the past four years.
Instead, the athletes preferred to link their numbers to personal significance, with birth dates and ages being a popular choice (Mariya Shorets – 09; Lucy Hall – 92; Kristin Kasper – 91; Dan Halksworth – 31). Others referred to their athletic achievements for their nations. Tyler Mislawchuk was the 65th person to represent Canada in a world championship as an elite. Agnieszka Jerzyk raced for Poland with the number 51 at her first Olympics in London. And superstition still played a major role in number selection: Ben Dijkstra went with 80 because 8 was his childhood lucky number, while Summer Cook picked 99 because it was her college track coach’s lucky number.
Meanwhile, Andreas Schilling tapped into his competitive side when he selected his number, 00. This mysterious-looking number is never used in competition. “It looks like two eyes keeping an eye on the other guys,” Schilling quipped. However, the zeroes can also be taken to mean losses. One hopes he does not leave Super League Jersey empty-handed.
Fernando Alarza has associated himself with the number 96 because it looks like a butterfly, which to him represents freedom. One wonders if he is aware of its significance in numerology, where 96 represents a yearning to reach the ideal. As the third-ranked Spaniard in the World Triathlon Series, he may subconsciously be expressing a desire to reach perfection.
One athlete bucked the superstitious implications of her chosen race number. Claire Michel chose the notorious number 13, which is hard if ever assigned at races in the ITU. She said, “Not only was I born on the 13th of October, but it is a number that doesn’t exist in ITU, so I think it is an appropriate number for a dark horse.”
McCormack said of her choice, “She’s willing to take a gamble. It also speaks of how she sees herself in relation to the rest of the field and what her approach will be to racing against them.”
Whatever the reasons for selecting their race numbers, these tie into these athletes’ state of mind and the passion and attitude with which they will approach the competition. These numbers represent who they are, and they will be racing with their entire being.
How To Qualify for Challenge’s The Championship for 2018
Challenge Family has announced how triathletes can qualify for The Championship 2018, which once again takes place 3rd June, 2018 at the remarkable x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Slovakia.
Qualification for The Championship 2018 commenced at Challenge Wanaka in February 2017 and will conclude at Challenge Salou in May 2018
Athletes have the chance to qualify for The Championship 2018 in a further 18 races taking place worldwide
Last year, the world’s top triathletes came together to race Challenge Family’s inaugural The Championship 2017, which took place in Samorin, Slovakia, and attracted an impressive line-up including double Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee, winner of The Championship 2017 Lionel Sanders, former World Champion Sebastian Kienle, Challenge Gran Canaria winner Emma Pallant and the winner of The Championship 2017 Lucy Charles among others.
Lucy, who eventually triumphed at the event, was full of praise for the course and atmosphere, saying: “The race course was epic this year, and what’s amazing is that even though it was in its first year, the race drew in huge names and huge crowds, and the vibe was just electric. I can’t wait to see what The Championship 2018 brings, especially with so many chances for athletes to qualify.”
For professional athletes, the race carries with it a minimum prize purse of €150,000 and for its return this year, The Championship 2018 has a unique qualifying system in place that means pros will be able to qualify via global Challenge Family events. What’s more, there are still 18 races yet to take place, featuring middle and full distance races, as well as a number of side events, in locations such as Aruba, Melbourne and Brazil. The races are: Challenge Davos Festival, Challenge Iskandar Puteri, Challenge Madrid, Challenge Peguera-Mallorca, Challenge Aruba, Challenge Kanchanaburi, Challenge Forte Village Sardinia, Challenge Shepparton, Challenge Florianopolis, Challenge Wanaka, Challenge Mogan-Gran Canaria, Challenge Melbourne, Challenge Cerrado, Challenge Taiwan, Challenge Rimini, Corporate World Cup at Challenge Lisboa, Challenge Lisboa and Challenge Salou.
It’s not only the pros that will compete next year – all age group athletes have the chance to qualify with a top six age group finish at any global Challenge Family event during the qualification period, the last opportunity of which will be at Challenge Salou in May 2018. Furthermore, the top six teams in the female, male and mixed categories in relay events will also qualify for The Championship at Challenge Family events.
Qualifying slots will roll down in each age group and relay category up to 12th place, however, there will not be a roll down system for professional athletes.
Upon qualifying, the top six teams in each female, male and mixed category in relay events will also qualify for The Championship 2018 team relay. A registration code will be sent to the qualifying age-group athlete (via email), allowing the athlete to complete the online registration form. Each qualifying athlete will then have four weeks to register for The Championship 2018.
Zibi Szlufcik, CEO of Challenge Family, says of The Championship 2018: “We are excited and determined to make next year’s The Championship even better than 2017. With so many Challenge Family races taking place globally, and inclusive qualification system for pro and age grouper athletes, we are sure to attract even more remarkable athletes to the event. Of course, we are thrilled yet again to be working with the incredible x-bionic® sphere, in addition to enforcing the highly regarded 20m draft rule to keep racing fair for all. We look forward to raising an even higher standard in international triathlon.”
The course is carefully curated so that the outstanding venue, x-bionic® sphere, forms the stunning backdrop of the starting, transitioning and finishing stages of the race, providing striking views for both the competing athletes as well as spectators.
Super League Jersey Men’s Race Preview
Scores will be settled and champions will arise at Super League Jersey this weekend with 25 of the world’s best male athletes competing. Most of them are reprising their Super League Hamilton Island appearances alongside notable and speedy additions to the roster. Richard Murray, Mario Mola, and Jake Birtwhistle were the top three athletes after the racing on Hamilton Island, which occurred early in the general triathlon season.
Since then, Mola has defended his world title and Birtwhistle has earned a mixed relay world championship alongside his Australian teammates including Matt Hauser, who has now also won a junior world title. Murray was in the running to end the year ranked third in the world and took two bronzes and one silver on the world triathlon circuit. However, in the end, he was bumped down to fourth by Kristian Blummenfelt, who made his mark on Hamilton Island by winning the first two of the three stages in the Eliminator and then racked up three silvers and one bronze on the circuit.
“Super League Hamilton Island was the springboard for many of these men’s epic seasons,” says executive chairman and co-founder Chris McCormack. “They were able to showcase the qualities that have led to their success this year. At Super League Jersey that’s going to make them a target for the athletes who either have a score to settle from the previous event or have never raced them in these formats.”
Jonathan Brownlee is one of those new entrants; after missing Hamilton Island due to injury, the dual Olympic medalist and two-time sprint world champion is raring for a go over the Triple Mix and the Eliminator, the two formats featured in this weekend’s racing. While Brownlee has shown himself a force to reckon with over shorter distances, the even shorter super sprint distances and multiple stages over two days will be a new experience. “The exciting thing is it’s something completely different, completely new,” he says. He looks forward to racing on what he considers home soil. “The British seem to put on incredible sports events. We’ve got lots of people watching and have a good culture of support in sports. And I think Super League will be another great British race.”
With the racing over the Triple Mix format at Super League Jersey, the three stages will mix up the three disciplines of triathlon: Stage 1 is swim-bike-run, Stage 2 is run-bike-swim, and Stage 3 is bike-swim-run. Athletes will need to tap into their speed from the gun in Stage 1 due to the pursuit starts in Stages 2 and 3. They will start the succeeding stages in the order they finished the previous stage, separated by how much time they lost to the preceding finisher. This is slightly different from the mechanics used on Hamilton Island, where athletes started each stage at the same time. “We want to reward the fastest overall on the day, and the pursuit start allows that person to cross the final finish line first,” McCormack reveals.
Had this been done on Hamilton Island, Richard Varga would have won the day thanks to his quick times in the water and on the bike. “I was proud to finish fourth in points after three days of racing on Hamilton Island, but definitely this adjustment in the Triple Mix will suit my strengths,” Varga says.
Day 2 features the Eliminator, where over three stages of swim-bike-run the slowest athletes will be eliminated. Stage 2 will star the Top 15 from Stage 1, while only the Top 10 from Stage 2 will go on to Stage 3. On Hamilton Island, Murray could afford to come in third in Stage 3 as he had already amassed nearly insurmountable points lead from two previous days of racing.
But in Jersey with only two days of racing over which to rack up points from finish standings, it will be imperative not only to survive through to Stage 3 but also finish well.
Ben Kanute is one of the world’s best over the super sprint distance, securing the fastest overall swim-bike-run split in the 2016 mixed relay world championship win he shares with Team USA. Yet it remains to be seen whether he can replicate this feat over multiple stages with a scant 10 minutes between them. He is also coming off a runner-up performance over the half distance two weeks ago, which may impact his fleet-footedness.
“I set out to win every race I start at, so everyone is a target for me,” Kanute says. “Look for me to go off the front on the bike and shake things up. Everyone else out there, just try and hold my wheel.”
With this star-studded and speedy line-up, Super League Jersey could be anyone’s to win. Watch all the action live on www.superleaguetriathlon.com or youtube.com/superleaguetriathlon. The men’s races will stream at 1 pm on September 23rd and at 4 pm on September 24th (all times GMT+1).
Super League Jersey Women’s Race Preview
Super League Triathlon will make history this weekend as female athletes race its unique formats for the first time at Super League Jersey. “Our race on Hamilton Island earlier this year was an exhibition of what was to come. Super League Jersey is formally the first event of the Super League Triathlon season and we are proud to have the world’s best athletes male and female on our starting line,” says executive chairman and co-founder Chris McCormack.
The first day of racing will feature the Triple Mix, which will test athletes’ adaptability to switch-ups to the traditional swim-bike-run order of triathlon and rewards a willingness and ability to go hard from the gun. The Triple Mix has three stages (swim-bike-run, run-bike-swim, bike-swim-run) and pursuit starts in Stage 2 and 3 that will allow athletes to build a lead from Stage 1 and challenge them to hold onto that lead until the final finish line in Stage 3.
The most challenging may be in Stage 2 and Stage 3, as athletes are unaccustomed to swimming after cycling. “Legs will feel very heavy in that swim,” says McCormack. “Athletes with good swim mechanics and natural speed can get an edge on the competition here, and if they get a big enough gap and can hold onto it, they can very well win the day.”
Two such athletes are Carolina Routier and Lucy Hall, renowned for their prowess in the water. Hall might be the stronger cyclist between the two, but Routier has the better run, a common weakness among fast swimmers. Routier may have the insider’s edge; with fiance and training partner Mario Mola having placed overall runner-up on Hamilton Island, they may have rehearsed such scenarios.
“I’m just excited to give it my best. It’s something we don’t get to do on the regular triathlon circuit and anything can happen,” says Routier.
On the second day, the Eliminator will whittle the field down to the best of the best. Only the top 15 finishers in Stage 1 will proceed to Stage 2, and of those only, the fastest 10 can race Stage 3. Between each stage, the first athlete across the line will have ten minutes to recover, while succeeding athletes will have less time. The previous day’s racing may also play a role in how sprightly the athletes will be.
“The question posed to these athletes is: will they want to expend effort to get to the front and take advantage of a longer rest, or will they just avoid elimination in Stage 1 and 2, conserving the energy to power through to the Stage 3 win?” says McCormack.
In the previous race on Hamilton Island, it was not the veterans Richard Murray or Mario Mola who took the Eliminator win after three stages, but young Jake Birtwhistle who put on a burst of speed in the final 500 meters. From the women’s roster, athletes with a mixed relay world championship pedigree may rule this format, such as Kirsten Kasper (2016 – USA) and Charlotte McShane (2017 – Australia). The distances are similar, with the major difference being the multiple stages and the threat of elimination.
“I definitely think I have the run legs to get to the front of the pack,” says Kasper, a former collegiate cross-country and track star. “But it really depends on staying close enough to strike out for the win. This field is so deep, it’s going to take everything I have.”
London Olympic silver medalist Nicola Spirig and world championship bronze medalist Katie Zaferes will have targets on their backs. As Super League Hamilton Island showed, the big names in Olympic triathlon might not be the ones standing triumphant at the end of the day. Will this prove to be the case in Jersey?
Super League Jersey Course preview with Ryan Fisher
Super League this weekend will be nothing like the Hamilton Island event; apart from the excitement and exhaustion of course.
The Jersey course is going to be more tactically challenging for the athletes, with tiny winding corners and narrow roads. Ryan Fisher is in Jersey gearing up for the race, and he’s checked out the course in anticipation for Saturday.
The 300-metre course is made up of a simple one-lap course with just two left turns.
“It’s pretty similar to the swim course in Hamilton Island [Super League]” said Fisher, “inside the rock wall where the swim will be, it’s pretty calm.”
The bike course is going to be exceptionally tough, with many sections being just four metres wide. The bike course if made up of five laps creating a 5.5km course in total. There are six turns within the bike course and one U-turn.
“It’s really different to Hamilton Island as it’s pancake flat,” said Ryan Fisher. “In areas it’s only 5m wide, but there is no room for getting passed anyone as there’s a wall right there. If you have ten guys together, there are only two spots during each lap where you can pass people.”
The race will be fierce. “It will be corner – sprint – corner – sprint,” said Fisher.
Jersey is notorious (as is much of the UK) for rainy, wet weather, which will make the course even tougher. “There is a cobbled section, which will be very technical with water on it,” said Fisher.
The run course weaves along the same course as the bike leg, but is only two laps making the total distance 2 km. The Super League team says “it’s a tight, compact course and will be exciting for athletes and for fans.”
Thanks to Aussie Ryan Fisher for getting to Jersey early and giving us the inside scoop! We’re so excited for Super League Jersey!