Chase McQueen on the challenge of the supertri E World Championship

Winner in Montreal in 2023, can Chase McQueen become the supertri E King on Saturday in London?

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

Ahead of Saturday’s supertri E World Championship powered by Zwift, taking place at the London Aquatics Centre, we checked-in with Chase McQueen.

Winner of the previously titled Arena Games Triathlon in Montreal last year, the American returns to the capital… where hopefully he won’t feel the need to resort to swimming Butterfly!

How has it been preparing, what will it take to win and who could be the breakout stars this weekend?

Specific prep

Very experienced in this discipline of racing now, McQueen feels ready to go for Saturday.

“Preparations have been good. I’ve been training in Boulder for the past three weeks leading into the race. It’s been warming up at home so it’s been a mix of the trainer and being outside, but a lot of specific work towards this. Fitness feels good, so I’m excited to test where everything is at on Saturday.”

Gina Sereno Arena Games Montreal final 2023 photo credit Darren Wheeler That Cameraman SLT
[Photo credit: Darren Wheeler That Cameraman / SLT]

No margin for error

“I think the exciting thing about racing supertri E is the tiny margins for error as well as all of the unknowns. Luckily, I have some experience racing here before, but there’s a lots of “ins and outs” that are pretty different from a standard triathlon that can make a big difference. I also think the arena games is such a good indicator of swim, bike, run, but eliminates some of the other factors that make a complete Olympic triathlete. So you have a lot of younger guys or maybe under the radar guys that can really factor in the race.”

“Whatever it takes”

Chase has his ideal tactic set for day – but accepts that circumstances, and the competition, may mean those have to be swiftly adapted.

“As far as tactics for me it’s really about controlling the effort as much as I can, while still being in the position I want to be in. On the swim, if I can hold back a couple gears, I can get on the bike and be ready to really push. I want to be a bit more controlled and keep some matches for the bike and run.

“Obviously in the prelim I need to be top two in my heat, so whatever that takes is what I need to do… but in a perfect world I’d be able to back down the second round to try and save as much energy for the final. Even though this format is so quick and fast, if you make it to the finals it turns into a big effort with five rounds.”

What does he think it will take to win?

“To take the world title I know it’s going to take my very best. I feel like I know what it takes to win, but putting it all together will be tough no matter what. In terms of numbers I think it will be around 2:03ish on the swim, 5.6-5.8 w/kg on the bike, and 2:45ish for the kilometre, five times over.”

Chase McQueen wins Arena Games 2023 Montreal photo credit Darren Wheeler That Cameraman SLT
[Photo credit: Darren Wheeler That Cameraman / SLT]

Wild cards – and absent friends

While the home crowd will certainly miss the presence of triple Olympic medallist, Jonathan Brownlee, he’s also an athlete that McQueen was hoping to measure himself against.

“I wish Jonny was racing this weekend. He’s somebody I really look up to as a triathlete and a person, but in this region especially, has inspired tons of people in the sport. Racing him in London would bring out some amazing crowds and energy, and would also just raise the level of the field.”

While a big name is missing, could one of these young athletes make their mark this weekend?

“To shake up the race the most, look towards the young Americans. It’s neat because they all bring a different strength to the table.

  • Carter Stuhlmaker in the swim… I know he could push that two minute barrier.
  • Sullivan Middaugh – unbelievable bike strength. Look for him to go over 6 watts / kilo.
  • Reese Vannerson – one of the best run prospects in a long time. He won the run jersey in last years Championship Series, so look for a super fast k split.”

The mental game – plus coffee!

Every athlete has their personal pre-race routine, and this is how Chase will be approaching the competition this weekend.

“To prepare for the race I try and walk through the race ahead of time and visualize a lot of different scenarios I could find myself in. I typically will do a shakeout run in the morning before breakfast. I try to think about some of the hard training sessions and the team I have around me, and celebrating that hard work. I always have a couple double espressos and lots of white rice leading into the race, haha!”

Chase McQueen Arena Games Triathlon London 2023
[Photo credit: Darren Wheeler That Cameraman / SLT]
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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