Katie Zaferes became the first women’s Super League Champion in Jersey on the weekend with a superb performance across the two days.

Text By Rob Sheeley | Images By Googsi Creative/ Studio M

 

The American netted a cool $18,000 for her efforts and was elated with the outcome.

“It’s just so cool, it’s a different style of racing,” Zaferes said.

“It’s a fun style but it is so painful and you cannot hide anywhere. I would love to do more of these.”

The weekend belonged completely to Zaferes, topping the podium on both days of the event.

Day 1 – Triple Mix

Saturday started with the Triple Mix, a three-stage event with varying formats for each stage. Just 10-minutes between stages leaves little time for recovery and tests athletes to their maximum capacity.

(c) Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Opening with the tradition swim/bike/run, Belgium’s Claire Michel took out the first stage narrowly in front of the heavy hitters, Zafares and two-time Olympic medalist Nicola Spirig.

Athletes then started the second stage handicapped by the time that they finished behind the winner.

Michel, Zaferes, Spirig and Summer Cook were all just seconds apart heading into the second run/bike/swim stage.

The quartet opened up a gap on the run early, with almost 20-seconds back to the rest of the field led by Jodie Stimpson, Sophie Coldwell and Rachel Klamer.

Spirig pushed the pace on the bike and only Zaferes was able to respond, sticking with the Swiss speedster into T2 and hitting the water first. Zaferes out-swam Spirig to take the stage.

A bike/swim/run would be the way the day was decided and the Amercan/Swiss battle continued. Zaferes and Spirig stayed clear throughout the stage with the day to be decided in a footrace.

Zaferes proved superior and claimed the top spot from Spirig with Cook claiming third.

“When I first got on the bike I was a little off technically with the corners, but I got more comfortable and moved up and was happy with how the race progressed as it got on,” Zaferes said.

“The swim feels as horrible as all the boys told us it did, so at least I was prepared for that and didn’t panic. I felt nervous especially after having raced last weekend, but I felt good.

It has been only a few months since Spirig gave birth to her second child, but she sounded a warning that she is already back in great shape and would be a major player on the second day.

“It was amazing,” Spirig said.

“I had good fun and I hope I’m a bit of an inspiration for all mums.”

Cook’s powerful run helped her into third place overall, a great result for the young up-and-comer.

“I wasn’t sure about what to expect coming in; I felt like it could go either way,” Cook said after the opening day.

“I was really proud of myself to just go out there and compete, not be afraid to put myself close to the front and just race my hardest.”

(c) Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Day 2 – The Eliminator

The second day consisted of three swim/bike/run stages with the field trimmed after each race. After one event, just 15 would remain, with the final stage to include just 10 starters.

With survival the key over the first two stages, interest was on the back of the field and who would make it through to the deciding race.

Athletes were presented with tricky conditions with a puddle-soaked bike course leading to plenty of tumbles throughout the day.

(c) Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Brits Sophie Coldwell and Jodie Stimpson controlled the first stage with Zaferes and Spirig staying in close touch.

Claire Michel had to fight hard to grab the final place available for stage two, out-running Russia’s Anastasia Abrosimova.

It was a similar scenario in stage two with Coldwell and Stimpson up front early. Zaferes, Spirig and Kirsten Kasper also made their presence felt toward the end of the run and looked like they’d be the main players in the final stage.

Non Stanford, Rachel Klamer, Charlotte McShane, Emmie Charayron, and Melanie Santos were involved in a ding-dong battle for the final positions. It was Stanford who would become the casualty in a case of so near, yet so far.

After two stages of tactical survival, it was now time to go all-in with the ultimate prize up for grabs.

The ten left the pontoon and began to string out. Coldwell found the front again with Kasper and Cook the immediate chasers in front of Zaferes and Spirig.

(c) Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Spirig took charge on the bike, appearing to look to establish a break on the field as she worked hard up front. Zaferes remained resolute behind her and the pair entered T2 together, with the simple equation of the winner also to become the overall winner on the weekend.

Zaferes saw an opportunity early and surged to the front on the run, never looking back in a controlled performance.

(c) Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Spirig dug deep on several occasions but was unable to reel the American in. Summer Cook unleashed a superb run to make her way into second place in front of a gallant Spirig and claim second place overall, but the day belonged to Zaferes who was simply outstanding.

(c) Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Super League Jersey 2017 Results

# First Name Surname Race Number Swim Bike Run Total Accrued Time 3*
1 Katie Zaferes 16 0:04:15 0:09:45 0:07:20 1:07:51
2 Summer Cook 99 0:04:09 0:09:57 0:07:17 1:07:54
3 Nicola Spirig 18 0:04:16 0:09:43 0:07:30 1:07:50
4 Kirsten Kasper 91 0:04:09 0:09:50 0:07:30 1:07:57
5 Jodie Stimpson 8 0:04:16 0:09:44 0:07:37 1:07:55
6 Sophie Coldwell 25 0:04:08 0:09:52 0:07:54 1:08:18
7 Charlotte McShane 24 0:04:22 0:09:51 0:07:45 1:08:32
8 Rachel Klamer 7 0:04:23 0:09:48 0:07:48 1:08:32
9 Melanie Santos 12 0:04:20 0:09:54 0:07:48 1:08:45
10 Emmie Charayron 5 0:04:26 0:09:49 0:07:53 1:08:48

About The Author

Rob Sheeley is the Race Editor for WITSUP

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