It all came down to a sprint for the line in Malibu today as Great Britain’s Alex Yee managed to nip Belgium’s Marten Van Riel at the line to take both the win in Malibu, but also handily take the men’s Super League Championship title for this year. Yee, who won in a sprint over countryman Jonathan Brownlee last weekend in Jersey, did it again in Malibu.
The thrilling finish in the final race was set up as wild card entry, Kristian Blummenfelt, blasted through the first two races, flying through the run. For the most part the rest of the men were happy to watch the Norwegian push away in front – Aussie Matt Hauser had managed to nail down the first “short chute” opportunity by leading after the first swim, while Van Riel eeked out the second “short chute” by being the first past the mount line at the end of the first bike. Blummenfelt then blasted by everyone on the run to take the first race.
The second race wasn’t too eventful and, once again, Blummenfelt ran way harder than he seemingly needed to in order to nail down the race win again. Which set up the barn-burner of a final race.
France’s Vincent Luis appeared to be on track to lead out of the water in the final race, only to watch Reid and Van Riel fly by on a wave. The pace remained quick on the bike, but by the end of the 4 km effort all the contenders for the overall title were still in the mix.
Van Riel and Wilde pressed at the front during the run, then with just over 400 m to go, Van Riel used his “short chute” shortcut to open up a gap on the rest of the men. Wilde charged hard to get back to the Belgian, but had Yee on his shoulder. With about 100 m to go Wilde finally ran out of gears, leaving Yee and Van Riel to sprint to the line, with Yee edging ahead to take the win. Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca would take third, moving himself to fourth in the overall standings, with Wilde ending up fourth, enough for second overall. Blummenfelt rounded out his day with fifth, Luis came across the line in sixth and series leader Brownlee would end up seventh – he would finish third in the overall standings.