Athletes reveal their race strategy for Super League Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island, Australia – The world’s best athletes have started to make their way to Hamilton Island, Australia in preparation for Super League Triathlon happening on 17-19 March 2017.
The days leading into the race weekend will be full of training swims, rides, and runs to help the athletes acclimatize to the tropical heat and consider their strategies in tackling the different formats.
The first of them to set foot on the island, Richard Varga has already been here four days and has swum the waters and ridden the roads, including the now infamous One Tree Hill to be used during the individual time trial for the Equalizer format.
“I think you would be much faster on a road bike,” said the Slovakian, noting how some other athletes were considering bringing time-trial bikes. “You need to be able to use bike tactics, because there are only three kilometers on the flats, and then you’re on the hills.”
Newer arrivals like Alistair Brownlee and Richard Murray were given a tour of the bike course on a golf cart fresh off the plane.
Brownlee commented, “It’s quite tough, man.” But when presented with an option to change his bike’s rear cassette to a 28-toothed gear to make the climb easier, the lad who trains daily on the hills of Yorkshire demurred and said he would use a tough 21-toothed gear all the way.
Murray noted how the golf cart was struggling to get up the hill, but marveled at the sight from the scenic lookout atop One Tree Hill. “We can have a picnic here afterwards,” he joked.
The South African believes Super League Triathlon racing is right in his wheelhouse. He said, “I think it’s pretty cool, something different, something short, my pace.”
Super League Triathlon’s regional director for sales and entertainment Carter Jackson tested the swim course alongside founder Chris McCormack and reported how warm the water was. “It’s about 28 degrees Celsius, which is almost warmer than the air temperature,” he revealed. “Some of these kids have come from places like Leeds or Iceland and they’re gonna have a hard time.”
Jackson also saw a few athletes take their bikes for a spin after their long flights. “I saw their faces going up One Tree Hill for the first time, and it looked like they were thinking to themselves, ‘What have I gotten into?’”
Russian athletes Dmitri and Igor Polyanskiy were two of those athletes. Dmitri said, “It’s so hot here like you’re on the equator. We rode up to the very top of the mountain where the race will be. We’re gonna have to sweat to make it up.”
Brownlee believes the racing will be relatively conservative the first two days, with athletes sizing each other up. He said, “I think people will make the championship moves on the third day.”
Can these athletes adapt fast enough to the conditions and use their strengths to implement winning strategies on race weekend? In a few days, we will finally find out. Super League Hamilton Island will be broadcast live on www.superleaguetriathlon.com on 17-19 March 2017 from 1700 AEST.