Murray still in front after Day 2 in Hamilton Island

Richard Murray continues to lead the way at the inaugural Super League Triathlon after two days of racing.

| March 18, 2017 | NEWS

Richard Murray heads out on the bike during the second day of racing at the Super League Triathlon.

Richard Murray heads out on the bike during the second day of racing at the Super League Triathlon.

Photo >Delly Carr

Heading into the inaugural Super League Triathlon, Richard Murray was certainly considered a favorite. A win at his home-country world cup earlier this year signaled he was in good shape, and this race style certainly favors his overall strength and supreme running ability.

So it's not much of a surprise to see that Murray is out in front through the first two days of this unique-format race, which takes place over three days on Hamilton Island in Australia.

Saturday's stage was the "Equalizer," which began with a 6 km bike time trial that started at Hamilton Island Airport and ended at the top of One Tree Hill. The final 1.4 km of the time trial was a grueling ascent that reached a maximum grade of 24.4 percent. 

American Cam Dye took the win in the time trial, finishing in 9:40, which meant he would head off first in the afternoon's swim-run-swim-bike-run second stage. He would have a lead just two seconds over Jake Birtwhistle (AUS) and three over Ryan Fisher (AUS) and 20 seconds over Murray, who had finished the TT in eighth.

Birtwhistle overtook Dye on the swim and led the way out to the first run, with countryman Fisher on his shoulder. By the end of the first run, though, there was a large group together, with Javier Gomez (ESP) leading the way into the transition area. It was Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) who led the way into the water, but Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) was first out after the swim. Athletes all had to be on their bikes within a minute of the first man onto the bike and that put Brent McMahon (CAN), Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) and Siggy Ragnarsson (ISL) out of the race.

Ryan Baillie (AUS) and Birtwhistle managed to open up a 10-second gap heading into the final transition, but that was hardly enough to hold off Murray, who cruised in to take the win, followed by Birtwhistle. Mario Mola (ESP) managed to finish just ahead of countryman Gomez to take third.

The two wins give Murray 40 points. Mola now moves to second with Richard Varga in third with one day of racing to go - tomorrow's event is an "Eliminator."

A big bunch rounds the corner during the first of two runs in Saturday\'s \"Equalizer.\"

A big bunch rounds the corner during the first of two runs in Saturday's "Equalizer."

Photo >Clint Barter

Jake Birtwhistle leads the run.

Jake Birtwhistle leads the run.

Photo >Delly Carr

Mario Mola moves ahead to finish third in the Equalizer.

Mario Mola moves ahead to finish third in the Equalizer.

Photo >Delly Carr

In the end no one could touch Richard Murray, who took the day and maintained his overall lead.

In the end no one could touch Richard Murray, who took the day and maintained his overall lead.

Photo >Delly Carr