Luis and Zaferes top the Super League Triathlon Malta podium

VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Womens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)

Another year, different formats – but Vincent Luis and Katie Zaferes still came out on top as the champions of Super League Triathlon Malta on Sunday, just as they did last year.

By far the most successful athletes in Super League Triathlon history, both ended their racing season’s with another $20,000 winners cheque in the stunning setting of the Vittoriosa Marina, Birgu.


Luis And Zaferes Hold On Against Fierce Competition To Win Super League Malta, As Jersey’s Winner Beaugrand Suffers Devastating Mechanical Failure

Super League Malta came to a spectacular close on Sunday, with mechanical failures, shock eliminations and gut-busting performances threaded throughout both the Men’s and Women’s Finals. The two World Champions and reigning Super League Triathlon (SLT) Champions – Katie Zaferes and Vincent Luis – had two feet firmly placed on the top step of the podium after their wins this afternoon.

VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Womens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)
Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon

The Women’s Equalizer started with a highly-charged bike Individual Time Trial (ITT), followed by a pursuit-style start of swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run. Japan’s Yuko Takahashi was out of the water first and led the field on the bike. But Zaferes’ fitness and determination powered her through to the lead, with Day 1 Semi-Final winner Cassandre Beaugrand stepping up her pace to minimise the distance between herself and the front pack.

But to Beaugrand – and the crowd’s – shock, the Frenchwoman suffered a devastating mechanical failure to her derailleur halfway up the hill on the second bike leg and had to bow out of the race, leaving Zaferes, the Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer and Takahashi to fight for the podium spots.

Zaferes once again took absolute control, sprinting uphill for the win. Klamer came in second – her face filled with emotion – and a very excited Takahashi took third. Klamer’s quick bike time sees her continue holding the green jersey, and Takahashi’s rapid transitioning means she also remains in the grey jersey.

USA’s Taylor Spivey had a very good all-round performance, just missing the podium in fourth, with Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell taking fifth and holding onto the blue jersey. Although Cassandre did not finish, her lightning-fast swim sees her swap the pink jersey for the red.

Yesterday’s Junior winner and Pro Final qualifier Beatrice Mallozzi had the race of her life. Although competing in her third race of the weekend, the young Italian gave everything she got, impressively finishing in the Top 10.

VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Womens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)
Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon

If the crowd thought the men’s race would be any less dramatic, they’d be wrong. It was Portugal’s Vasco Vilaco who took the fastest time in the ITT, which gave him the first dive in the pursuit-style start for the Shortened Enduro. Vincent Luis would have to wait sixth-in-line to dive into the warm Maltese water after his ITT.

The Frenchman made up time in the swim and transitioned first onto his bike. A front-pack quickly formed, with Belgium’s Marten Van Riel and Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt staying close to the pink jersey leader. New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde didn’t have the best swim of his life, and his late exit out the water saw him fall behind on the bike leg. The ‘Maltese Falcon’, as he’s known on the Super League circuit, delivered a big performance throughout the rest of the race to put himself in the leading group of four.

VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Mens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)
Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon

Blummenfelt saw his opportunity for a lead on the final run and manoeuvred a bold overtake, but Luis was saving himself for the sprint up the last hill, which saw him fire ahead of the Norweigian to take his victory; Blummenfelt had to make do with second place. Wilde and Van Riel were fighting up the final hill for the last podium spot, and it was the cheering crowd that boosted young Wilde ahead of the Belgian across the line.

VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Mens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)
Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon

The South African duo, Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray, were clearly still recovering from their recent illnesses, with Schoeman finishing just outside of the Top 10 and Murray suffering the race’s first elimination after falling more than 90 seconds behind.

The intense pace and heat of the day proved too much for France’s Léo Bergere and Hungary’s Csongor Lehmann as they too faced the wrath of the brutal elimination rule.

WOMEN’S FINAL:

  1. Katie Zaferes – (USA) – #01 – (35:33)
  2. Rachel Klamer – (NED) – #02 – (35:44)
  3. Yuko Takahashi – (JPN) – #08 – (35:55)
  4. Taylor Spivey – (USA) – #04 – (36:14)
  5. Sophie Coldwell – (GBR) – #32 – (37:15)
  6. Léonie Périault – (FRA) – #10 – (37:39)
  7. Summer Rappaport – (USA) – #06 – (38:06)
  8. Ilaria Zane (ITA) – #58 – DNF
  9. Cassandre Beaugrand – (FRA) – #03 – DNF
  10. Beatrice Mallozi – (ITA) – #63 – DNF
  11. Angelica Olmo – (ITA) – #41 – DNF
  12. Felicity Sheedy-Ryan – (AUS) – #13 – DNF
  13. Elena Danilova – (RUS) – #16 – DNF
  14. Megan Foley – (USA) – #19 – DNF
  15. Bianca Seregni – (ITA) – #65 – DNF
VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Womens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)
Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon

MEN’S FINAL:

  1. Vincent Luis – (FRA) – #01 – (32:14)
  2. Kristian Blummenfelt – (NOR) – #32 – (32:18)
  3. Hayden Wilde – (NZL) – #08 – (32:28)
  4. Marten Van Riel – (BEL) – #30 – (32:34)
  5. Gustav Iden – (NOR) – #33 – (32:43)
  6. Pierre Le Corre – (FRA) – #11 – (32:47)
  7. Anthony Pujades – (FRA) – #13 – (32:58)
  8. Vasco Vilaca – (POR) – #46 – (33:02)
  9. Tyler Mislawchuk – (CAN) – #04 – (33:09)
  10. Aaron Royle – (AUS) – #55 – (33:15)
  11. Henri Schoeman – (RSA) – #02 – (33:19)
  12. Ben Kanute – (USA) – #07 – (33:41)
  13. Léo Bergere – (FRA) – #06 – DNF
  14. Csongor Lehmann – (HUN) – #49 – DNF
  15. Richard Murray – (RSA) – #05 – DNF
VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Mens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)
Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon

COLOURED JERSEY WINNERS:

  • Pink (Series Leader): Katie Zaferes (USA) / Vincent Luis (FRA)
  • Blue (Fastest Swim): Sophie Coldwell (GBR) / Vincent Luis (FRA)
  • Green (Fastest Bike): Rachel Klamer (NED) / Hayden Wilde (NZL)
  • Red (Fastest Run): Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) / Hayden Wilde (NZL)
  • Grey (Fastest Transition): Yuko Takahashi (JPN) / Hayden Wilde (NZL)
VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 20, 2019: in the Mens Equalizer Final during Super League Triathlon Malta on October 20, 2019 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon)
Photo by Tom Shaw/Superleague Triathlon

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