We landed in Malta on the Friday before the Super League triathlon at around 10:30 am. We first went and picked up my t-shirt which I got free for entering the kid’s Aquathlon.
We woke up on Saturday morning excited to go and watch the pros race and even get some photos with them. We went down to the race course quite early as we knew some of the British boys racing in the youth category so cheered morning so after some lunch, we met up to watch the pros race in the afternoon.
The afternoon seemed to come and go so fast that I wasn’t really sure where the 4 and a half hours we had been watching them had gone. The best thing about Super League is that all of the racing is short and snappy and very unpredictable which is always fun. The race consists of 4 heats, 2 men’s and 2 women’s, with each heat consisting of swim, bike and run x 2. The first heat of the women’s race was very exciting with Cassandra Beugrand and Yuko Takahashi who were very close the whole way round until the run when Beugrand got the better of Takahashi.
The second heat was very close as Katie Zaferes, Rachel Klama, and our very own Sophie Coldwell lead the whole way until the run again when Katie took the win. The men’s was very good to watch as one of the young Italian youth athletes came out of the water first ahead of all the pros. Then it all kicked off Vincent Luis, Hayden wild, and Martin Van Riel a small pack at the front of the race Luis made a break on the 2nd bike and kept it for the win. The next men’s one was quite simple as Christian Blumenfelt made a break on the first bike leg and no one caught him so he took the win.
On day two the top 5 from each round on the previous day went through to the final. An extra 5 athletes were selected to make a total of 15 in each race. Today the racing consisted of an Individual Time Trial (ITT), 10 minute break and then swim, bike and run X2. First, the women went off on the ITT which was ok but not as interesting as the rest, but this put them in their places for the swim. A small group of four came out first Katie, Rachel, Yuko, and Taylor closely followed by Sophie and Cassandra. Sophie chased hard on the bike with Cassandra right on her wheel. They closed the gap to about 10 seconds coming off the bike and Cassandra being the strong runner ran herself into that group. They came out of the swim all together on round two and got on their bikes but at the bottom of the hill, Cassandra got a mechanical and was forced to stop the race. The race went on and came down to an interesting run with Katie and Rachel out front with the others close behind. As Katie won yesterday she got something called the short shoot, a small gap in the course near a 180-degree turn for a 5-meter advantage, which Katie held to win the race closely followed by Rachel and then Yuko.
In the men’s race, it was completely different as on the ITT three athletes went wrong as a marshal had incorrectly moved the barrier so they had to sort out the timings but it all worked out ok. They did the swim and came onto the bike in a group of 5 or 6 and it sort of stayed the same for most of the way until the run. 4 athletes out front Vincent Luis, Hayden Wild, Christian Blumenfelt, and Martin Van Riel. Both Blumenfelt and Luis had the short shoot and being the slightly stronger runner Vincent came home to win it closely followed by Christen then very eventful weekend that I thoroughly enjoyed and would love to watch and race again.