Jersey preview - can Murray defend and women added to the schedule

The Super League Triathlon series continues this weekend in Jersey with two days of exciting racing.

| September 22, 2017 | NEWS

Richard Murray competes in the first Super League Triathlon on Hamilton Island.

Richard Murray competes in the first Super League Triathlon on Hamilton Island.

Photo >Delly Carr

with files from Fabian Fiedler

This story has been edited since we learned that Flora Duffy will not be competing this weekend.

Chris McCormack and his new Super League Triathlon series makes its next stop in Jersey, the small island in the Channel. The inaugural race took place on Australia's Hamilton Island six months ago. 

This weekend's event will be both a first Super League event in Europe and the first where women will compete.

Two events

As opposed to the first Super League event which featured three events, the "Equalizer" has been dropped from the Jersey schedule. Saturday's racing will feature a "Triple Mix" while Sunday's racing will include the "Eliminator."

The "Triple Mix" includes three short triathlons completed with short breaks after each of the races. Each includes a different sequence of the disciplines (swim-bike-run, run-bike-swim, bike-swim-run). The first race will be sent off as a mass start. The next two races will be sent off in a time trial format based on the time gaps from the previous races. The first person across the line at the end of the third ultra-sprint triathlon wins the first race format and collects the top points.

The "Eliminator" on Sunday will also include three short triathlons, but after each race some of the participants will be eliminated. 15 athletes will move on to the second round while 10 will compete in the final.

Will Murray defend?

South Africa's Richard Murray took the first Super League event on Hamilton Island, but will certainly have his work cut out for him this weekend. Jacob Birtwhistle impressed with his running prowess on Hamilton Island and Javier Gomez appears to be in great shape after a win in Chattanooga over the 70.3 distance a couple of weeks ago and a fifth-place finish in Rotterdam last weekend. It would be crazy not to think of ITU world champion Mario Mola (ESP) as a potential favorite, along with Grand Final runner-up Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR).  Jonathan Brownlee, the Olympic silver medalist, should enjoy the shorter format of these races, too. Some others to keep an eye on include Andrea Salvisberg (SUI), super-swimmer Richard Varga (SVK) and Ironman 70.3 World Championship runner-up Ben Kanute (USA).

Women's racing

It turns out Flora Duffy won't be competing in Jersey, leaving things wide open in the women's competition. There are five strong Brits on the start list including Non Stanford, Jodie Stimpson, Emma Pallant, Lucy Hall and Vicky Holland. Switzerland's Nicola Spirig continues her comeback after having her second child earlier this year. Others to watch include Rachel Klamer (NED), Katie Zaferes (USA) and Erin Densham (AUS).

The men's Triple-Mix will start on Saturday, September 23 at 1 PM local time, while the women's event will start at 4 PM local time. On Sunday, September 24 the women will start the Eliminator at 1 PM followed by the men at 4 PM. You can watch the live coverage at superleaguetriathlon.com.