SLT Malta Day Two: Richard Murray runs to Eliminator win

Richard Murray - Eliminator winner, Super League Triathlon Malta 2018

Richard Murray takes Saturday success at Super League Malta

Close racing in the Men’s Eliminator at Birgu Marina

After Friday’s Individual Swim Time Trial results, South Africa’s Richard Murray is going to start tomorrow’s Equalizer in a very difficult position – but he put that aside today for an impressive and tactically perfect performance to win The Eliminator at Super League Triathlon Malta.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE WOMEN’S ELIMINATOR REPORT)

MEN’S ELIMINATOR

Race 1:
Eliminated (5) = Igor Polyanskiy (RUS), Jayden Schofield (AUS), Luke Schofield (AUS), Jack Felix (USA), Oliver Turner (JER)
Winner ($1,000 bonus) = Hayden Wilde (NZL)

Comfortable – as you would expect – for the favourites, despite Jonathan Brownlee getting caught behind a crash from Canada’s Matthew Sharpe. Brownlee was quickly back into the mix though and crossed the line second to Hayden Wilde (NZL), and it was Sharpe who took the final spot in round two, sprinting away from Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) on the line. An easy 15 minutes for Luis, Schoeman, Murray and the other favourites. Things would get a lot more serious in race two.

Race 2:
Eliminated (5) = Hayden Wilde (NZL), Andreas Schilling (DEN), Jonas Schomburg (GER), Matthew Sharpe (CAN), Joao Pereira (POR)
Winner ($1,000 bonus) = Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN)

Schoeman and Luis – the top two from Jersey – were quickest through the swim and on to the bike, joined by Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) and Ben Kanute (USA). Jonathan Brownlee missed that pack through T1, and was in a second group of three – alongside Leo Bergere (FRA) and Richard Murray (RSA) – a handful of seconds back. With seven to qualify, they were in the driving seat.

By T2 however, Hayden Wilde (NZL) and World Duathlon Champion Andreas Schilling (DEN) had expanded that group to nine. Which two would lose out?

The efforts to catch that leading seven would pay on the legs of Wilde and Schilling who missed out, while Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) crossed the line first of the $1,000 bonus. Seven athletes left and all of the big guns were ready to race and safely qualified. Time for Vincent Luis to shine… or could Jonathan Brownlee eliminate the small mistakes from the first two races and challenge for the top spot? Game on.

Race 3:

As you would expect, Henri Schoeman set the pace through the swim… but by the top of the first hill on lap one of the bike, all seven athletes were back together. Through transiton of the first time… and Jonathan Brownlee attacked in a big way, hammering up the hill and splitting the field. A smart move, or reckless? A lap later and his advantage was just three seconds – but Jonny was digging in again. This was a ‘go big, or go home’ move – would bravery be rewarded?

With one lap to go on the bike… there was just three seconds separating first and last. This was going to come down to the run – and quite likely, a very fast transition too.

Richard Murray – yet again – was the quickest through T2 (seriously, the guy is incredible in transition), and was full gas from the start. Vincent Luis was chasing and had Schoeman and Brownlee for company, but the Super League Hamilton Island winner, Murray, was looking focussed and strong and would take the Saturday win in The Eliminator. Luis said he didn’t feel great today, but still took Silver, ahead of Schoeman and Brownlee.

Super League Triathlon Malta, Saturday 27th October 2018
Day Two – The Eliminator – Final Race Standings
300m / 4km / 2km

MEN

1st – Richard Murray (RSA) – 14:42
2nd – Vincent Luis (FRA) – 14:49
3rd – Henri Schoeman (RSA) – 14:53
4th – Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) – 14:57
5th – Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) – 15:07
6th – Leo Bergere (FRA) – 15:13
7th – Ben Kanute (USA) – 15:16