SUPER LEAGUE TRIATHLON: PROS GET READY TO BATTLE FOR FINAL ‘GOLDEN TICKET’ SPOTS IN CANADA THIS WEEKEND
‘Golden Ticket’ qualification, pro race line-up, Age Group racing and Macca’s predictions: what to expect at Super League Canada in Penticton this week
The second and final Qualifier event for Super League Triathlon’s (SLT) Championship Series takes place from Friday (17 August)-Sunday (19 August) this week in Penticton, Canada. Super League Canada is the first SLT event to visit North America, and will be the final chance for the pros to grab a ‘Golden Ticket’ – a lucrative contract for the Championship Series races.
With just 10 spots left up for grabs ahead of the main SLT season starter in Jersey this September (28-30), the athletes will need to give their all to be in with a chance of qualifying and competing against the likes of Flora Duffy (BER), Mario Mola (ESP), Katie Zaferes (USA), the Brownlee brothers (GBR) and Richard Murray (RSA); a selection of world-class talent who have all secured their spots for the season.
SLT pits the world’s best male and female triathletes against each other across unique and challenging short course formats throughout the league’s season; culminating in the ultimate champion of the Championship Series, crowned at the final event in Australia on 23-24 March 2019.
Penticton is the historic home of triathlon in Canada. Located in the south central region of British Columbia, in an area known as the Okanagan Valley, it is surrounded by beautiful wine country and is the perfect spot for racing and spectating.
What do the pro races look like?
The first event to test the athletes is the Equalizer; a two-stage event. Stage One is a stand-alone 20km time trial in the evening on Friday, 17 August. Stage Two of the Equalizer takes place on Saturday, August 18th and consists of an unconventional and unpredictable 500m swim – 2.5km run – 500m swim – 20km bike – 2.5km run. The finishing times from the two stages are collated to give the standings for the first of two races.
The second race is the Standard Enduro, which sees athletes battle out an intense 250m swim – 20km bike – 5km run – 750m swim – 20km bike – 5km run on Sunday, 19 August. The five male and five female athletes who have the best times across the three days of racing will be rewarded with ‘Golden Ticket’ qualification to the Championship Series.
Penticton will also be hosting Age Group athletes for what’s set to be a remarkable weekend, with the amateur races being held from Friday until Sunday, giving budding triathletes the opportunity to race on the same course as the pros. To see the full Age Group schedule, visit Super League Canada’s website.
Who are the ones to watch for qualification?
The special thing about SLT is that the unique formats mean the results are surprising and unpredictable – it really is anyone’s game. That being said, multi-Ironman Champion and SLT Co-Founder Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack has a few predictions of his own as to who from Penticton we may see in Jersey this September:
- Ellie Salthouse (AUS): The middle-distance specialist won Boulder Ironman 70.3 last week and is in scintillating form. She has the endurance base to be successful over multiple days, but lacks the hyper-speed at times. I think her experience and strength will dominate the race.
- Sophie Chase (USA): The depth in the USA women’s racing at the moment is incredible. Many of the sport’s young stars miss the opportunities to race at the highest level as they aren’t selected due to the quality of the field – whereas in any other country they would be a first-pick. This is the case with Sophie, who I’m sure will earn a contract and give herself the chance to race the world’s best, week in and week out.
- Erin Storie (USA): Another athlete from the USA’s army of talent. Erin, like Sophie, wants the opportunity to showcase her skills and has the experience to secure a contract. She has a very even racing temperament and is a solid all-rounder.
- Ben Kanute (USA): The Bahrain Endurance 13 team member and Olympic athlete raced in Jersey last September, during SLT’s pilot season. Ben is Runner-Up World Champion Ironman 70.3 2017 and is one of the best swim-bikers in the world. Definitely one to watch ahead of Jersey.
- Tayler Reid (NZL): The young Kiwi athlete grabbed a bronze medal at the recent Commonwealth Games in the MTR event with his fellow New Zealand teammates. A talented athlete from a power nation, he has the skill set and raw speed to grab a ‘Golden Ticket’
What’s the full starting line-up in Penticton?
- Jack Felix (USA)
- Taylor Reid (CAN)
- Ben Kanute (USA)
- Mauro Cavanha (BRA)
- Carlos Javier Quinchará Forero (COL)
- Luke Schofield (AUS)
- Jayden Schofield (AUS)
- Irving Perez (MEX)
- Brandon Copeland (AUS)
- David Guete (COL)
- Dario Chitti (ITA)
- Oliver Turner (GBR)
- Christopher Bagg (USA)
- Arturo Beltran (VEN)
- Tayler Reid (NZL)
- Patrick Brady (USA)
- Jeremy Morel (FRA)
- Andrew Keily (USA)
- Nathan Killam (CAN)
- Fabian Gomez (COL)
- Alexandra Gordichuk (CAN)
- Megan Foley (USA)
- Caroline Shannon (USA)
- Danielle De Francesco (AUS)
- Erin Storie (USA)
- Rachel Mcbride (CAN)
- Ellie Salthouse (AUS)
- Sarah Alexander (USA)
- Sophie Chase (USA)
- Mary Alex England (USA)