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Van Riel victorious in SLT Arena Games London

Three-way tie for second decided by final leg

Photo by: Super League Triathlon YouTube

With the global pandemic affecting racing around much of the world, Super League Triathlon devised an interesting format along with Zwift that sees athletes do a 200 m swim in a 50 m pool, then competed over a 4 km bike course on trainers and 1 km run course on treadmills using the Zwift online platform.  In the first of two SLT Arena Games events in London today (the second will take place in Rotterdam next month), both the mens’s and women’s events featured close races that came down to the final of three races.

Each race followed a different format – the opening heat consisted of a swim/ run/ bike, the second run/ bike/ swim and the final leg consisted of a bike/ swim/ run.

Up-and-coming short-course star Vasco Vilaca took the opening stage that saw the Portuguese athlete win a sprint over Marten Van Riel, Justus Nieschlag and Olympic silver medalist Jonathan Brownlee.

That effort seemed to be too much for Vilaca in the second leg, though, who was well back as Van Riel and Brownlee battled for first and second. That meant Van Riel went into the final race with a three-point margin over Brownlee. The men stayed together through the bike and swim, setting up a 1 km running showdown. Nieschlag would take the final stage over Great Britain’s Alex Yee, but Van Riel’s third-place finish was enough to get him the win. That left three-men in a tie on points for second (24 points), but the final placings were decided based on the final race position, which meant Nieschlag took second and Yee was third overall, leaving Brownlee one spot off the podium for the second Arena Games race in a row.

You can watch the exciting racing below: