SLT Mallorca Day Two: Taylor Spivey heads another USA podium sweep

Taylor Spivey / Kirsten Kasper Super League Triathlon Mallorca Sprint Enduro

Sprint Enduro victory earns Taylor Spivey the SLT Mallorca title

Katie Zaferes is finally defeated in Super League Triathlon

If Super League Triathlon wants to put forward the evidence that it is ‘different’ and provides exciting, designed for TV triathlon and to attract an audience beyond the hardcore fan, then Sunday’s Sprint Enduro women’s race at Super League Triathlon Mallorca may well be presented as Exhibit A.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MEN’S DAY TWO REPORT)

40 minutes of dynamic action, not decided until the final 90 seconds of racing, impacted by innovations to the presentation format; that ticked all of the boxes. I’m sure it won’t meet the ‘approval’ of every purist out there, but that was flipping good. The men will have taken detailed notes on the tactics they need to consider for their racing.

How it played out

Ten athletes started the S/B/R/S/B/R enduro format, having qualified from the morning heats.

Despite a strong first swim and early part of the bike from Kirsten Kasper (USA), the opening swim-bike combination saw nine of the ten athletes arrive at the first bike/run transition in very close order.

The sole exception was Summer Cook who looked as though she was destined for elimination, coming close to falling 90 seconds down on the leader and looking very uncomfortable on the hilly course in Porto Cristo. She would not make it to the finish today,

The dominant female athlete of Super League Triathlon, Katie Zaferes (USA), then made one of her first mistakes of the series so far, tripping and falling to the floor just seconds after her bike dismount. Any damage done? We would soon find out.

Having won their qualifying heats, both Taylor Spivey and Kirsten Kasper still had a short chute advantage to take, but despite pulling away early on the run with the misfortune of Zaferes, they both chose to keep that in their pocket for the second run. Would that be a good decision – or should that have twisted the metaphorical knife early? Zaferes meanwhile, gradually pulled herself back to the pack and eliminated any deficit to be back on terms after the first swim/bike/run was complete. If she was going to be beaten, she wasn’t going down without a fight.

The second swim broke up the field a touch and towards the end of the second bike leg there were now five athletes together at the front – Spivey, Kasper, Zaferes, Klamer and Stimpson. With that short cut on the run still to take, surely Kasper and Spivey were in prime position to take the stage win? With Zaferes fifth of the five into the final bike-run transition, she was not helping her chances – and with Spivey taking off from the start, she was looking extremely vulnerable. Was the Queen of Super League about to be toppled?

Zaferes was working hard – and she closed the gap to Spivey, but she needed to gain time. The short chute earned by Spivey and Kasper from their heat wins was going to be crucial. Kasper was the first to play her joker, a move which catapulted her from third to first… but would she be able to stay there? Behind, Zaferes was trying to drop Spivey, who in turn knew she still had her joker to play. The was seriously good viewing. Spivey played her joker on the final lap, regained the lead – and ten hit the gas. She was not going to be caught today. Kasper held strong for second, with Katie Zaferes finishing the Sprint Enduro in third.

Winner of the Sprint Enduro and second yesterday in the Triple Mix earns Spivey the overall Mallorca win, while third and first (yesterday) was enough for Zaferes to take second, versus the second today / third yesterday of Kasper. Once again, the USA women are showing the way.

Super League Triathlon Mallorca – Sunday 4th November 2018
Day Two – Sprint Enduro (Stage Two)
300m / 4km / 2km / 300m / 4km / 2km (S/B/R/S/B/R)

1st – Taylor Spivey (USA) – 39:55
2nd – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 40:01
3rd – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 40:09
4th – Rachel Klamer (USA) – 40:21
5th – Jodie Stimpson (GBR) – 40:32
6th – Yuko Takahashi (JPN) – 41:!2
7th –  Charlotte McShane (AUS) – 41:22
DNF – Joanna Brown (CAN)
DNF – Emma Jeffcoat (AUS)
DNF – Summer Cook (USA)

Overall Super League Triathlon Mallorca Results

1st – Taylor Spivey (USA) – 46 points
2nd – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 43 points
3rd – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 39 points

Overall Super League Triathlon Standings after Jersey, Malta, Mallorca

1st – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 71 points
2nd – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 54 points
3rd – Rachel Klamer (NED) – 40 points
4th – Taylor Spivey (USA) – 38 points
5th – Jodie Stimpson (GBR) – 30 points