Germany’s Justus Nieschlag just ran to a big win at the Super League Triathlon Arena Games in London. With a 29-second advantage to Britain’s Alex Yee, who took second, Nieschlag virtually broke the tape. Italy’s Nicolo Strada took the final podium spot.
Athletes got a chance to qualify for tonight’s finals through two heats that took place in the morning. For the finals, they had to complete another three short triathlons. The first heat consisted of 200 meters of swimming in the pool, 4 km of cycling in Zwift and 1000 meters of running on a self-powered treadmill. The second heat started with a run, then a bike part and finally, a swim. For the final stage, athletes started in the order of their accumulated finish times of the first two heats. That final heat consisted of another swim-bike-run over the same distances.
Stage 1: swim-bike-run
After 200 meters of swimming, Strada hopped onto his bike in first place, followed by Australia’s Max Stapley, Japan’s Takumi Hojo, Yee and Nieschlag, who were all within five seconds behind him. Since drafting was no longer possible in Zwift, Strada – on his own – maintained his lead during the bike part. The Italian athlete even managed to extend his lead to seven seconds. Yee, Hojo and Stapley were in a shared second place once they got to change their bike for a treadmil. About halfway through the run Yee – who ran at a speed of more than 21 km/h – passed Strada. Meanwhile, Nieschlag found his way back to the front. Yee ended up taking the win, Nieschlag crossed the line in second place (+0:03) and Strada in third (+0:10).
Stage 2: run-bike-swim
Due to a false start, Stapley was given a five-second time penalty before the bike part in the second heat. Nieschlag straight away pushed the pace during the run. Yee and Strada were next to each other in second place after approximately 500 meters, while Stapley hang around in fourth place. All eyes were on Yee for the run, but it was Nieschlag who got off the treadmil first. Two seconds later, Yee reached his bike too. Stapley got to his bike in third place, but dropped down in the ranking as he had to wait five seconds before he could hop on. With a speed of 44 km/h Nieschlag increased his lead on the bike. With a buffer of 13 seconds to second place, Nieschlag was pretty much safe during the swim. That saw Nieschlag claim the win, Yee finishing in second and Strada crossing the line in third place.
Stage 3 pursuit start: swim-bike-run
Just like in the women’s race, the men were far apart when starting the final stage. Sixteen seconds ahead of Yee, Nieschlag dove into the water in first place. Yee tried to chase, but with the gap being this big and getting even bigger in the pool, it was clear that Nieschlag would be the one taking the victory. Once in the saddle Nieschlag enjoyed 25 seconds to Yee and when hitting the run that gap had increased to 30 seconds. On the run Nieschlag completed what he started and that saw the German athlete claim the overall gold medal today. Yee settled in second place (+0:29) while Strada completed the podium (+0:53).