Alex Yee dominated on home turf at Super League Triathlon London, as the Olympic Test Event winner edged out teammate Jonny Brownlee to take a magnificent first win for Team RTP Sharks. Behind Brownlee in third was Tayler Reid of New Zealand, recording his first ever SLT podium and picking up valuable points for his team.
Racing over the Enduro format, which is made up of three back-to-back triathlons comprising of a 300m swim, 4km bike and 1.6km run, the 2023 Super League Championship Series got underway in London as new teams and new athletes kicked off their campaign.
Racing for individual honours as well as team points, the series will see athletes race across three different continents, with events in London, Toulouse, Malibu and the Grand Final in Neom, Saudi Arabia. Last year, New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde was the winner of the series, but was absent through injury for the first stage in London.
Stage 1 – Stapley lays down the gauntlet
It was no surprise to see Team RTP Sharks Max Stapley take out the first swim, with the Brit closely followed by fellow countryman Marcus Dey, racing for the Santara Tech Eagles as a late alternate for their talisman Matt Hauser, who ten days ago missed the Paris Olympic Test event after contracting Covid-19.
After Stapley picked up the short chute, the pair quickly got to work, with next best placed athlete Reid eight seconds behind coming out on to the bike and some of the pre-race favourites, including hometown hero Alex Yee, close to 20 seconds off the pace after a crazy fast first swim.
With a very slim lead off the bike, the pair fought hard for the second short chute, which Dey just managed to pick up for Tim Don’s men, before being swallowed up by the pack led by Britain’s Yee and Brownlee. Despite Stapley’s best efforts to stay away heading into the second swim, a big group formed heading into transition. Back into the water, Stapley along with teammates Yee and Brownlee plus Reid and Roberto Sanchez Mantecon, had a small lead on the rest of the field.
Stage 2 – Yee shows his speed
Out of the water the second time round, Stapley couldn’t quite open up the same lead he had enjoyed in the first stage and was joined by a group of eight men into transition, with Britain’s Dan Dixon, South African Henri Schoeman and Israel’s Shachar Sagiv bridging the gap up to the front by the time they set out on the bike.
Leading out of T1, Brownlee, who suffered through a tough day at the Paris Olympic Test Event ten days ago, made a move to open up a gap over the rest of the field, with Reid and Yee working their way on to the Yorkshireman’s shoulder by the end of the first lap of the run, as Dixon and Stapley started to feel the pace.
As the front trio broke away from the rest of the field, Yee got some daylight heading into the water ahead of Reid and Brownlee, as Schoeman and Mantecon managed to reel in Dixon and Stapley as they dived in to make it a group of four chasing down the front pack over the final stage.
Stage 3 – Sharks go 1-2 with Yee and Brownlee
Out of the final swim, Reid looked in pole position to take his first ever Super League Triathlon podium, as Yee and Brownlee followed him out on to the bike, with the leading trio working hard to open up a bigger buffer to a fast moving Schoeman and a determined Mantecon.
Working exceptionally well together, Yee, Brownlee and Reid opened up +0:15 to the chase pack after two laps, as the trio really pushed the limit on the demanding bike course, with Dixon, Schoeman, Stapley and Mantecon left to fight it out over the minor positions as the win looked to come down to a battle of the Brits.
Coming into transition, the race looked like Yee’s to lose, as the Londoner set a hot early pace to open up a substantial lead over Brownlee and Reid. By the first lap, the gap was out to +0:05 to Brownlee and +0:09 to Reid, with the Kiwi holding a 15 second lead over the chasers as he battled hard to defend the last spot on the podium.
Taking the win in style, Yee enjoyed the crowds adulation as he came over the finishing line, with Brownlee in second and Reid in third. Behind, Mantecon put together a great final run split to edge out Stapley as the RTP Sharks, packing four men into the Top 6 on home turf, looked utterly dominant in London.
Super League Triathlon London 2023 Men’s Results – Sunday, August 27
- Alex Yee (GBR) – 45:23
- Jonny Brownlee (GBR) – 45:25
- Tayler Reid (NZL) – 45:33
- Roberto Sanchez Mantecon (ESP) – 45:43
- Max Stapley (GBR) – 45:44
- Dan Dixon (GBR) – 45:50
- Henri Schoeman (RSA) – 45:53
- Seth Rider (USA) – 46:13
- Chase McQueen (USA) – 46:16
- Emil Holm (DEN) – 46:21