SLT Malta Day Three: Double success for Katie Zaferes in The Equalizer

Katie Zaferes wins The Equalizer and the Overall Super League Malta Title

The Queen of Super League reigns again…just.

She may have finished second in the ITU World Triathlon Series rankings this year, but the USA’s Katie Zaferes continues to impress as the dominant athlete in Super League Triathlon (www.superleaguetriathlon.com).

That said, today’s race at Super League Triathlon MaltaThe Equalizer – was perhaps her toughest race yet, the victory not decided until the final 150 metres.

In this format, there's no hiding behind a draft pack. ⛔ The EQUALIZER starts with Stage 1, an Individual Time Trial in one of the disciplines, before a pursuit start two stage 🏊🏻‍♂️-🚴🏻‍♂️-🏃🏻‍♂️ SPRINT in Stage 2 to the finish!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀With a 🏊🏻‍♂️ ITT for Malta, we already have a few ideas on who might come out on top… 😉

Posted by Super League Triathlon on Friday, October 26, 2018

Today’s racing was a swim/bike/run/swim/bike/run non-stop enduro, start times set based upon Friday’s ‘Part One’ of the The Equalizer, the Individual Swim Time Trial. With four U.S. athletes in the top six, a breakaway including the dominant Zaferes (who was so impressive in this Enduro style of racing in Jersey), didn’t plan out quite as expected.

After five of the six legs completed, it was Zaferes along with Kirsten Kasper (USA), Summer Cook (USA), Taylor Spivey (USA), Yuko Takahashi (JPN) and Rachel Klamer (NED) who all entered the final transition in close contention, with jut the final run leg to go. Today’s racing was far more open, exciting and unpredictable than perhaps had expected. With such a short run to go – finishing on a steep uphill – which way was this going to go?

A trio of Zaferes, Kasper and Cook quickly pulled clear to ensure that it was going to be an all USA podium (Rachel Klamer, second yesterday, suffering for her efforts to bridge back to that front group), but in what order would they finish? Still together at the top of the hill for the first time and with just one full lap to go, Cook gained a few metres on the descent – seemingly far more comfortable at running downhill than she typically looks on two wheels. Kasper and Zaferes were just a couple of metres behind though, and it wasn’t a decisive break.

With just the final climb to go – and just as Cook was looking like she was ready to strike for home – Zaferes hit the gas, went ‘all in’ and pulled away. Cook tried to go with her, but couldn’t pull back the margin on the pink suit of the series leader. Indeed, her efforts to go for the win may well have cost her, as a gutsy Kasper managed to move into second place in the final strides as they hit the finish carpet.

A fine end to a far more exciting and close race than almost everyone had forecast. That said, one thing remained unchanged – Zaferes was the favourite to win and she delivered, adding ‘sprint finish’ strength to her impressive skill set.

Can anyone take a Super League Triathlon round from her? Her competition gets a chance to do just that next week in Mallorca as Super League returns.

Super League Triathlon Malta, Sunday 28th October 2018 – Birgu Marina
Day Three – The Equalizer (Part Two)
Swim / Bike / Run / Swim / Bike / Run **
(** Start times offset from Individual Swim Time Trial on Friday)

WOMEN

1st – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 34:46
2nd – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 34:49
3rd – Summer Cook (USA) – 34:51
4th – Rachel Klamer (NED) – 35:06
5th – Taylor Spivey (USA) – 35:19
6th – Yuko Takahashi (JPN) – 35:25
7th – Joanna Brown (CAN) – 35:35
8th – Jodie Stimpson (GBR) – 35:56
9th – Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) – 36:06
10th – Charlotte McShane (AUS) – 36:32

(All other starters eliminated during race after falling >90 seconds behind)

Super League Triathlon Malta Overall Results

1st – Katie Zaferes (USA) – $20,000
2nd – Rachel Klamer (NED) – $15,000
3rd – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – $10,000

Super League 2018/19 Rankings after Jersey & Malta

1st – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 50 points
2nd – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 36 points
3rd – Summer Cook (USA) – 26 points
4th – Rachel Klamer (NED) – 24 points
5th – Cassandra Beaugrand (FRA) – 22 points