Henri Schoeman brought home the bronze at Super League Triathlon Toulouse as the Bahrain Victorious Scorpions fought hard to top the team ranking on the weekend, writes Lisa Pringle.
Toulouse native Leonie Periault also took silver in her debut on the Scorpions team.
The second of the SLT championship series events, Toulouse with its technical bike course saw several crashes which shook up Scorpions athletes Alice Betto and Nicole van der Kay and took Tayler Reid out of the race. Staying on the pointy end also did not guarantee an incident-free race, as Hayden Wilde while in the lead picked up a five-second penalty for riding through transition for an additional lap instead of dismounting.
Wilde eventually finished in fourth in his first race of the series. Scorpions teammate Roberto Sanchez Mantecon crossed in 10th and rose to an overall ranking of fourth.
Schoeman was unshaken and consistent throughout to clinch third place and his first podium of the series. Coupled with his seventh-place finish last week in London, he rockets up the championship rankings to second.
Periault was similarly unfazed, finishing just 46 seconds shy of first. Vereina Steinhauser was next highest finishing fifth, ahead of Betto in sixth, van der Kay in 12th, and Barbara de Koning in 14th.
These hard-earned finishes and bonuses pushed the Bahrain Victorious Scorpions up to 100 points to tie with the Santara Tech Eagles in first place and rise to second in the overall team standings. With two more races to go in Los Angeles and NEOM, the Bahrain Victorious Scorpions are well-placed for a victorious title defence. Looking ahead to the weekend, Jan Frodeno and Joe Skipper are putting the final touches to their preparation for the Ironman World Championship in Nice, France.
Skipper has been training at altitude for months leading into the race after winning Ironman Lake Placid in July. The multiple Ironman winner is looking to improve on his highest finish of fifth at the World Championship.
This race is particularly special for Frodeno, who has announced this will be his final one before retirement. The three-time Ironman World Champion who also has an Olympic gold medal and two Ironman 70.3 World Championships under his belt made a triumphant return to racing at the PTO US Open last month after two years off racing due to injuries, and is fit and ready to give his best one more time.
“I was thinking about what there is left, what I want to achieve and what I can add. There’s honestly not much; I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, I don’t need to prove anything to myself,” he says. “But the one thing that would change, that would add, that would multiply… is going out on a world title.”