Super League Set to Debut Unique In-Person + Virtual “Arena Games”
Short-course triathletes will compete in a pool, on a trainer, and on a treadmill.
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With help from Zwift, Super League is set to “bring triathlon back” with the first major professional race since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down triathlon (and the world) back in March.
Set to debut on Aug. 23 in Rotterdam, the Super League Arena Games will feature triathletes swimming in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. They’ll also race on a Tacx trainer and a treadmill, where they will compete using the Zwift platform. The events will be live-streamed, with fans getting to see live power, speed, and heart-rate stats on the bike and run of the 10 men and 10 women as they compete.
Super League officials say that the venue set-up at Zwemcentrum Rotterdam will allow for athletes to be competitive while also observing social-distancing regulations. The format will follow Super League’s unique “Triple Mix” format. Traditionally, that format has included three short “triathlons” with various formats. First a swim-bike-run, then a 10-minute break, then a run-bike-swim, then another 10-minute break, then a bike-swim-run. The results of the three individual races combine to determine the overall winner.
“This is a very exciting moment for Super League and the sport of triathlon as we finally get the chance to return to racing after lockdown,” said Super League Triathlon CEO and co-founder, Michael D’hulst, in a press release.
In addition to providing a viable option for racing through COVID-19, D’hulst also said the format could provide more options for racing during winter months.
So far, Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), Richard Murray (RSA), Jonas Schomburg (GER), Pierra Le Corre (FRA), Anthony Pujades (FRA), Justus Nieschlag (GER), Marco Van Der Stel (NED), and Donald Hillebregt (NED) have committed to competing in the men’s race. For the women, Cassandre Beaugrand (NED), Rachel Klamer (NED), Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), Quinty Schoens (NED), Jess Learmonth (GBR), Léonie Périaault (FRA), Ilaria Zane (ITA) and Maya Kingma (NED) have signed on to compete. Athletes will be competing for a yet-to-be-announced prize purse.
The Super League Arena Games will be live-streamed at superleaguetriathlon.com on Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. CET/5 a.m. PDT/8 a.m. EDT.