It is hard to know how Emma Moffatt managed to keep a smile on her face in a frantic sprint for the line, but it was a happy â€œMoffyâ€ who grabbed a determined silver medal behind American Gwen Jorgensen, edging out British girl Jodie Stimpson at today’s third World Triathlon Series (WTS) race in Yokohama.
Despite the wet conditions, Yokohama was a happy hunting ground for the Australian women’s team with three girls in the top ten, Moffatt’s team mates Ashleigh Gentle recording her best ever WTS result with a fourth place and future star Charlotte McShane finishing strongly in 10th position.
Meanwhile in the men’s race saw another emerging Australian name, Ryan Bailie shone in the gloom of Yokohama as the best of the Australian contingent finishing 10th in a race that saw Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) run away from Javier Gomez (ESP) with Joao Silva (POR) third.
But all eyes were on the Australian women earlier in the day and as hard as Moffatt tried it was a case of â€œGwen Againâ€ as the US girl continued on her winning way, unleashing her stunning run leg on the bell lap to drop Moffatt and Jodie Stimpson (GBR) and comfortably record back to back WTS wins, following her victory in San Diego.
Second out of the water and pushing the early pace on the ride, Moffatt soon realised that a solo breakaway was not the smartest tactic on the very technical Yokohama course and was eventually sat up and was absorbed and pulled in by the eleven woman chase pack.
Moffatt found herself surrounded by the notable runners Jorgensen (USA), Aileen Reid (IRL), Stimpson (GBR), Gentle and Vendula Frintova (CZE) and knew she was in for a tough day that was made even tougher, when the rain made the later part of the ride on the streets of Yokohama quite treacherous.
Into T2 there were 18 athletes within 11 seconds of each other and Moffatt and Stimpson weren’t hanging around and the pair established a 10 second lead over Gentle and Jorgensen at the end of lap one. The main victim of the rain had been Maaike Caelers (NED) who crashed twice but in one of the most stunning performances of the short history of WTS, she rode up to the main pack and back into fifth place at the half way mark of the run.
At the bell was Jorgensen, Stimpson, Moffatt together, with Gentle 21secs adrift and Caelers miraculously only 40 seconds down. Despite Stimpson’s and Moffatt’s best effort, Jorgensen just kicked her run into another gear and headed home.
Effortless and looking perfectly in control Jorgensen cruised to her second win, while Moffatt and Stimpson slugged it out over the final 2.5km and set themselves up for a sprint finish on the blue carpet that saw Moffatt grab the second spot on the podium.
Jorgensen’s win has catapulted her to the top of the WTS points standing and she has sent a message to the European athletes who skipped Yokohama that she is going to be a real threat in the upcoming races Madrid, KitzbÃ¼hel, Hamburg and London.
â€œI wouldn’t say it was totally under control. I am glad it looked like I wasn’t panicking. Those girls were running very fast on those first two laps and early on I was just trying to focus on the basics in my race. I am very honoured to win this race,â€ Jorgensen said.
Moffatt was thankful that the rain held off for the first six laps of the bike.
â€œWe had to be very careful with the white lines on every single corner, so it was a relief to get off and go running. I was towards the back coming in off the bike, probably being a little over cautious,â€ Moffatt said.
â€œIn San Diego I was time trialling out in front, whereas here I was sitting in a bunch so my legs weren’t as fatigued; it worked in my favour in the sprint finish with Jodie.â€
â€œI never get sick of getting on the podium. It is always a privilege and hard work to get up there. So you take everyone as they come along, because you never know when the next one will be.â€
Gentle continued her progression after finishing ninth in San Diego, again showing no ill-effects from her eight-week running lay-off as she recovered from a foot injury and will be buoyed by her encouraging fourth place while McShane continued her consistent form for her 10th after finishing ninth in the season opener in Auckland to be sitting eighth in the overall standings.
Yokohama was the final race for Moffatt under coach Craig Walton. The dual triathlon world champion is switching to work with Darren Smith and his group that includes Stimpson, Reid, Anne Haug and Australian men Cameron Good, Declan Wilson and Mitchell Kibby.
â€œI am going into a new phase now with a new coach, so it was nice to finish off by getting on the podium for Craig one last time. I have had a great time with Craig. I definitely appreciate everything that Craig and I have done and he has been a great coach,â€ said Moffatt.
Walton has had two stints as the mastermind behind Moffatt’s training program, guiding her to a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games and the first of her two world titles in 2009, believes there’s a use-by date on coach-athlete partnerships.
“Moffy’s nearing the end of her career and needs a change. I’ve given as a much as I can and she feels the same. She’s got a massive base to work with, we’ve parted on good terms and she’s in a good position to put the icing on the cake,â€ said Walton.
Smith praised the work of Moffatt’s former coaches and said he hoped to squeeze the best out of Moffatt.
“It is a nice little challenge for me, and I will do my best not to screw it up because there will certainly be a lot of people watching,” Smith said.
The Australian Men
The men’s race saw Aussies Bailie, Good and Dan Wilson mix it with the best all day and were poised just outside the top ten until mid way through the 10km run when Wilson lost touch.
At the bell, Good and Bailie were in 10th and 11th respectively but in the final 2.5km, Bailie marginally got the better of Good, switching places to record a second strong top ten finish after his ninth in Auckland. Cameron Good had spent the week in bed with the flu so to come away with this result was a positive. Good seems to be finally finding himself with Darren Smith guiding him.
Unfortunately, Peter Kerr’s return to competition following an appendix operation was not what he expected. Missing the main packs on the swim, Kerr’s lack of race fitness saw him continue to lose time on the bike and run, finishing 25th.
For the second time in two World Triathlon Series races an â€œunderdoneâ€ Brownlee, this time Jonathan has shown the world why he and brother Alistair are the best triathletes going around.
Second place out of T1 and always up front on the bike, Jonathan Brownlee had a big question mark over his run fitness having been sidelined with a serious Achilles injury that threatened to derail his whole season.
But in the early kilometres of the run he quickly dispelled any thought that he wasn’t back to his best, putting the acid on Javier Gomez immediately just as his brother had done several weeks earlier in San Diego.
At half way in to the run the gap from Brownlee to Gomez was only six seconds but growing in confidence and feeling the Spaniard was suffering, Jonathan cranked it up and headed for home recording a stunning victory by 24 seconds.
Brownlee’s ability is only overshadowed by his modesty and he attributed his performance to being fresher.
â€œI have literally only trained for two weeks of running and at the start of the year I got told I wouldn’t be racing at all this season so I got a bit emotional towards the end out there. This year I thought I wouldn’t be here at all and I thought the season was over two months ago. To be back here again is weird. I don’t know where it came from but I felt pretty good.â€
â€œSometime if you have a break, it helps and it helped me massively here. Javier has been travelling around the world and I have been home in Yorkshire so I have an advantage of people in that I am a lot fresher. I think that helped me.â€
It has been a long season for Gomez that started with a win at ITU Mooloolaba and he was relieved to have found some form after an ordinary race in San Diego.
â€œIt was not great, but Jonathan was very fast on the run. I tried to hang on for the first lap but then I blew up and second place was alright,â€ he said.
Triathlon Australia media release
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).
Do Your TrainingPeaks workouts in Zwift
Are you a TrainingPeaks user and also love using Zwift on those days that aren’t great to be outdoors? Well, today marks a significant step forward for both companies as the integration just got a whole heap better for us.
Many of us are using TrainingPeaks because our coach uses it and they put the required workout information in there for us to complete (or not) plus it’s great for understanding certain key metrics.
From today, you can now do your TrainingPeaks Structured Training within Zwift without doing any fancy export/import or be recreating those sessions in Zwift – and hands up who has done that before? Just login to Zwift and make sure your account is linked to your TrainingPeaks account – you can check this on the connections page. If they are connected, disconnect and connect them again just to be safe. Next, make sure your workout has been saved via TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Builder.
Lastly, login to Zwift, select workouts, and find today’s workout under the TrainingPeaks dropdown. You’ll only see the workout for the current day, and it updates automatically each day.
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!
What you need to know about Super League in Jersey
Super League is triathlon’s coolest, fastest, flashiest new event and it’s coming to the UK at the end of September. Here are a few of the highlights of Super League’s upcoming event plus the top picks for the podium.
Women’s event launch
Super League is launching its women’s event this month and we couldn’t be more excited. The Super League series was launched on Hamilton Island without a women’s event due to the top female triathletes being unable to attend. Now though, the top women are geared up for this exciting event including Lucy Hall, Emma Pallant, Non Stanford and Katie Zeferes to name just a few.
What’s the Jersey course like?
In the words of founder Chris Macca, “It’s a small, windy and technical course, and it could be cool and wet.” Bring on the excitement!
Why race in September?
Weather will be cooler in Jersey in September, but the water will be at its warmest after being heated throughout the summer months.
Who will win – Women’s?
Macca and Stuart Hayes discussed the fierce start list, and since Hayes coaches Pallant, they took her out of the predictions to eliminate bias.
Macca and Hayes reckon Jodie Stimpson might take out the win as she hasn’t had a hugely busy season and she’s an aggressive athlete.
Nicola Spirig could also be in with a chance at the top spot.
Of course, Emma Pallant is in with a huge chance too. “I’ve never seen anyone train like Emma, except the Brownlee brothers,” said Hayes.
Who will win – Men’s?
Stu is convinced anyone could take out the top spot as the race format is new for almost everyone. “No one has done an Eliminator properly,” said Hayes. Hayes reckons Jonny Brownlee is a likely champion as he hasn’t had a big year as he’s been sidelined with injury and illness.
Richard Varga could be in with a great chance to as he’s a fierce 800m runner.
Hayes thinks all the seasoned athletes shouldn’t ignore the very real threat of the junior athletes who are very used to racing sprint races. “They’re the guys to watch out for,” said Hayes.
Super League is officially the most exciting triathlon race format out there, and we can’t wait for Jersey this month.
Who do you think will win Jersey Super League?
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