Schoeman sweeps up second at final Super League of the year
Super League Mallorca
3-4 November 2018
After two intense days of racing at the Nadal institute for sport in Mallorca, Schoeman walks away with a current ranking of second and a great race to enter his off-season break. Just one week after the racing in Malta, the Super League racing in Porti Cristo.
The race format was as follows:
Saturday would consist of the Triple Mix, a three-stage mix up of the standard triathlon racing format. Stage 1 would be swim-bike-run. Stage 2 was the run-bike-swim. Stage 3 would start in pursuit style as a bike-swim-run.
Between each stage a 10-minute break enabled athletes some recovery time and the chance to set up their transition gear for the next stage. Brutal racing ensued, and South African Henri Schoeman took the day’s victory despite complaining of poor health.
Sunday saw a double stage Sprint Enduro, with a two-heat stage 1 in the morning and finale in the afternoon. The winner of each heat would be given the opportunity to use a “short-chute” in the finale later on. The heat winners were French triathlete and current series leader, Vincent Luis and British Olympic medalist Jonathan Brownlee. Each swim-bike-run heat qualified four athletes to go through to the afternoon’s finale, as well as the two fastest losers. A total of 10 athletes would line up for the swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run later that day. Luis and Brownlee were joined in the finale by Russian Igor Polyanskiy, Americans Tommy Zaferes and Ben Kanute, Belgian Marten Van Riel, South Africans Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray, New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde and French Léo Bergere.
The two semifinal winners from the morning turned up the heat for their chance to out-tactic the other, with Schoeman in the top mix of athletes. Zaferes was first out the water after the first leg of the race, with Schoeman, Brownlee and Luis hot on his heels into transition. Murray, having come out the water a bit further off the pace spent the cycle playing catch up to the leading group. Onto the final run it was Schoeman, Luis and Brownlee. Brownlee took the first lap as his opportunity to make a break, seizing the Short Chute advantage in his plight to open a gap on Luis, who still had his Short Chute to use. Brownlee’s fierce attack was to no avail, as Luis closed the gap he had made by using his short cut advantage on the second run lap, and proceeded to sprint the final meters of the race to victory. Schoeman held his own together, finishing third on the day and holding onto his series 2nd place. Murray was unfortunately pulled off course for falling further behind than the 90s rule would allow for, but is currently ranked 4th in the series.
Vincent Luis, current series leader, acknowledged how difficult the day’s racing had been, “that was a tough race, I had to focus on Henri and Jonny, and Jonny was really strong. He played his card, taking the Short Chute early, and when he did I knew it was full gas until the end. I still have a good kick, so with 300m to go I went full gas, and he couldn’t catch me. I thought to myself, he played his card, so now I will play mine.”
Our South African triathletes now move into their Summer breaks and thereafter work on building up towards the Super League Championship Final in Singapore on 23-24 February before the ITU season unfolds.