Images: Super League Triathlon
By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
The dates and venues are finally locked in and the usual Kiwi suspects back for more rapid-fire action. Bank on a different feel to the fifth season of Super League Triathlon (SLT) though, through a Kiwi lens at least.
Hayden Wilde, Tayler Reid and Nicole van der Kaay have been confirmed for the 2023 STL Championship Series which will feature four rounds: London (August 27), Toulouse (September 3), Malibu (September 30) and NEOM (October 21).
The Kiwi trio were all part of the Sharks franchise last season but that seems certain to change in STL 5 given Wilde signed on for Bahrain Victorious 13 triathlon team in the New Year. It means the Whakatane/Maltese Falcon’s defence of the men’s title in England, France, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia will likely be in the colours of the Bahrain Victorious Scorpions, though the makeup of teams for 2023 hasn’t yet been announced.
The Scorpions snatched the teams’ title by two points from the Sharks last season. They were managed by SLT co-founder Chris McCormack and included eventual women’s champion Georgia Taylor-Brown. If Brown stays put and Wilde joins as expected, the Scorpions will start STL 5 as short-odd favourites.
Whether partners Reid and van der Kaay remain Sharks, are shifted to another team or even split up in different squads is another intriguing question mark.
With the athletes’ roster not complete there is also still hope of more Kiwi representation in SLT 5. Kyle Smith has identified Super League as a target and did his chances of a contract no harm with a bronze medal on debut at Arena Games London – the Super League-owned indoor series – in early April.
The athletes confirmed for SLT 5 overnight are:
Men: Jonny Brownlee (GBR), Alex Yee (GBR), Hayden Wilde (NZL), Matt Hauser (AUS), Vincent Luis (FRA), Henri Schoeman (RSA), Chase McQueen (USA), Seth Rider (USA), Shachar Sagiv (ISR), Max Stapley (GBR), Emil Holm (DEN), Dan Dixon (GBR), Taylor Reid (NZL), Sergio Baxter Cabrera (ESP), Roberto Sanchez Mantecon (ESP) and Vitalli Vorontsov (UKR).
Women: Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), Beth Potter (GBR), Sophie Coldwell (GBR), Taylor Spivey (USA), Katie Zaferes (USA), Summer Rappaport (USA), Kate Waugh (GBR), Olivia Mathias (GBR), Fanni Szalai (HUN), Verena Steinhauser (ITA), Miriam Casillas Garcia (ESP), Nicole van der Kaay (NZL) and Barbara De Koning (NED).