After two days of fast and furious racing on the island of Jersey, Kristian Blummenfelt and Katie Zaferes rise as the new champions of Super League Triathlon.
Eight British athletes began the weekend with the ‘Triple Mix’, a three-stage race which blends up the traditional triathlon format with a 10-minute break between stages and a pursuit-style start in stages 2 and 3.
In the men’s race Jonathan Brownlee was quick to form a trio with Richard Murray and Kristian Blummenfelt that having broken away went on to lead from start to finish. The greatest cheers however were reserved for local lad Dan Halksworth who unfortunately fell foul of the clock during stage 2 whilst Ben Dijkstra unfortunately suffered a bike crash in stage 3 that took him out of contention.
In the women’s race Jodie Stimpson, Non Stanford, Sophie Coldwell, Lucy Hall and Emma Pallant were flying the flag for Britain. Coldwell and Stimpson put pressure on during the bike during stage one of the ‘Triple Mix’ and provided the greatest British threat but it was Katie Zaferes who comfortably strode out as the days winner.
Sunday brought the ‘Eliminator’ format involving three stages of swim-bike-run, with the field progressively growing smaller as only the top 15 finishers of Stage 1 go on to Stage 2, and only the ten fastest finishers of Stage 3 competing for the Eliminator win.
The women’s race was out on the course first with the wet conditions adding in a new challenge after day 1’s sunshine, particularly on the technical bike course. Coldwell proved to be a consistent leading figure out of the water across all three stages and teamed up once again with training partner Stimpson sharing the stage 1 win. It was Zaferes again however that led a trio of Americans plus Nicola Spirig to take the eliminator win and the overall Super League crown.
The men’s race on day 2 saw Jonathan Brownlee back in contention at the front once again and staying out of trouble on the bike as he steadily worked his way through the rounds often working with Leeds based training partner Aaron Royle. It was Blummenfelt however who aggressively pushed away on the final kilometre on the bike and wasn’t to be caught again as he looked a man possessed over the final 2km run rewarding him with a second win of the weekend and the Super League title. Brownlee’s eventual second place ahead of Murray took him up one step on the overall rankings to take silver and following the race said “I had a massive advantage there with British weather and British crowds so thank you to everyone for coming out even in this weather. I enjoyed today; I actually think I got fitter from yesterday, but Kristian was far better than us all the whole weekend and I was absolutely nowhere near him today. Well done, and well done to Richard as well. It’s great fun, it’s great racing and hopefully everyone’s enjoyed it.”
For more information about Super League and to watch the weekends racing action back in full head to superleaguetriathlon.com