SA’s Schoeman and Murray top 5 at Jersey Superleague
Fast forward one week after Henri Schoeman’s 3rd place at the Beijing International Triathlon and two weeks since the Gold Coast Grand Final which saw Richard Murray finish 3rd on the day and Schoeman 6th, the two prove yet again they are among the cream of the crop of the world’s best triathletes. Superleague triathlon is Chris McCormack’s invention, turning the tradition of triathlon on its head and testing whether athletes are able to compete at the sport with the respective disciplines rearranged into different orders. For the first of four events for the Superleague 2018/2019 season, Jersey did nothing shy of impressing. Two days of racing. First, Saturday 29th September, was the triple mix. Swim, bike, run. Ten minute break. Run, bike, swim. Ten minute break. Bike, swim, run. The swim consists of a 300m single lap. The cycle consisted of 4 laps of 1,25km to total 5km. The run was 2 laps of 800m to equal 1,6km. If any athlete fell more than 90 seconds behind then they would be eliminated. The first swim-bike-run saw Schoeman win the race followed by France’s Vincent Luis. On the second set, the run-bike-swim, Murray led for the first two legs of the stage until the swim course evened out matters. Luis was out the water first just ahead of Schoeman, and the two crossed the finish line first and second respectively. On the third set of the day, the bike-swim-run, athletes were set off in pursuit style. Luis led out, followed by Schoeman, Kristian Blummenfelt, Jonathan Brownlee and then Murray. In a sprint finish between Luis and Schoeman, Luis took the third stage win and was crowned the overall winner of the triple mix, followed by Schoeman in second. Murray finished his day in 5th overall. XXX
On Sunday, 30 September, athletes would have to battle it out once again for their overall Jersey placings in the enduro race. The enduro consists of a swim, bike, run- three times in succession. The weather didn’t arrive to the party on Sunday, and the format of racing meant that despite chilly water conditions, athletes would not be allowed to race in wetsuits. This wreaked havoc with many top athletes’ performances on the day, as they claimed they simply couldn’t feel their arms in the swim. Unsurprisingly, Schoeman was first out of the water and onto the bike with Luis and Jonathan Brownlee. Not far behind the leading group, were Murray and Blummenfelt- chasing down the front pack. Murray and Blummenfelt managed to close the gap on the leaders. Into the second leg Murray lost time on the swim, but made up for it on the bike. The lead group now consisted of Luis, Schoeman and Murray, as they had dropped Blummenfelt and Brownlee. Murray took the lead briefly, but was soon passed by an attack from Schoeman leading into the third run. Luis shut down the gap and with 1km to go, put in an insanely fast surge to claim the enduro victory. Schoeman held his second place ahead of Murray, who strode into the finish chute in an ecstatic fashion, much to the crowd’s elation. Schoeman finished the Jersey Superleague second in the overall classification, behind Luis. Murray just missed a spot on the overall podium despite his third on the day. It was Blummenfelt who claimed the overall Jersey bronze medal. The next Superleague will be held in Malta at the end of October.