Day 1 in Hamilton Island sees Murray in front

The first day of racing at the inaugural Super League Triathlon featured an innovative race format that saw Richard Murray lead the way.

| March 17, 2017 | NEWS

Richard Murray leads the way after the first day of racing at the Super League Triathlon.

Richard Murray leads the way after the first day of racing at the Super League Triathlon.

Photo >Delly Carr

Day 1 Triple Mix

The Super League Concept is not new. This is a returning format from years ago. The 2017 Super League crew simply lowered it, repainted it, rebadged and dropped a new engine in it. And with this new event comes a raft of triathlon stars who spend hours in the red zone with their bodies at full RPM. A "Hunger Games" for triathletes was born under the guidance of triathlon stawlwart Chris McCormack.

Hamilton Island was the venue for the pilot to this series and the athletes in attendance were all set for the first of three days of competition. Short in nature and built for TV, this series is unique in the triathlon world.

Race 1

The opening race saw a traditional triathlon opening with a swim bike run. The field stuck together for the swim but the 14% gradient split the field and the bike and it was left to the run to sort out the field. In the end Jacob Birtwhistle was too quick as he took the win and the time bonus that accompanies it.

Race 2

Race two saw a run to start and with stinging legs from Race 1 the field split quickly. Ryan Fisher hung tough on the run and during the bike leg he separated himself to set up a lead. Alongside Fisher in the lead were Ryan Bailie and Ben Shaw. The Aussie duo set themselves up for the swim and dropped Shaw on the last lap. Into the water it was Fisher who had the gap, but not the strength to hold on for the win. Getting swamped at the end it was Varga who came over the top for the win.

Race 3

With fatigue in the legs and arms building like few other events, race three of Day 1 saw a bike leg to kick off the last hurrah. Lead out by former Tour de France Green Jersey winner Robbie McEwen the field ,looked tentative leading off. Josh Amberger played his hand and took the momentum up the road but the in-form Richard Varga was attentive and kept things from blowing out. The swim then shook the field again who were broken after two hard efforts. The run saw Richard Murray dominate and he steeled himself for the last part of the race, which he owned. It was enough to give Murray the overall win thanks to the fastest combined time from all three races.

The big disappointment had to be Alistair Brownlee who was unceremoniously lapped and never fired a shot in any race. Post-race Brownlee said a stitch had derailed him.

We'll post results as soon as they become available.