Super League winner Blummenfelt ‘hungrier’ for success
DEFENDING Super League Jersey champion Kristian Blummenfelt fancies his chances of doubling up for the second year in a row on the Waterfront – using memories of a tough 2018 season as high-powered motivation.
Despite appearing on the podium at four ITU World Series events, race wins have proved elusive for the Norwegian since he stormed to victory in both the Triple Mix and Eliminator events here 12 months ago. The 24-year-old has finished as runner-up at global meets in Bermuda, Edmonton and Montreal since April, and is determined to end his barren spell as the 2018/19 Super League campaign takes its first exciting breath.
'I feel more hungry than last year,' he said.
'This season hasn't really gone as I expected so far, so I would really like to finish it off with a win. There have been a lot of second places this year but no wins, so I'm definitely hungry to touch the tape again and cross the finish line first. I would really like to repeat last year again.'
Blummenfelt looks likely to miss the next two SLT events in Malta [October] and Mallorca [November], but is eyeing a return for the concluding race in 2019.
A final event in Australia was initially planned for March, but it now looks as though SLT officials have cut it from the schedule and made February's trip to Singapore the series showdown.
'I'm planning to do the Bahrain 70.3 [half-ironman] for winter training, and hopefully I will come back to Super League for Singapore next year,' the world number five explained.
'It's hard to do all the World Series and all the Super League – you have to be clever with events and pick, especially because Tokyo [2020 Olympics] is so close. You have to sacrifice and make the right decisions.'
South African Richard Murray and Brit Jonny Brownlee trailed Blummenfelt in both races in Jersey last year, but with a change in format comes uncertainty surrounding expectations for 2018.
The 'Triple Mix', where the traditional swim-bike-run order is shuffled in three separate rounds, returns on Saturday, before the 'Enduro' makes its Island debut on Sunday [swim-bike-run x3, no rest].
'It's the unknown,' Blummenfelt said, discussing what makes SLT so appealing.
'They are always changing the format or the distance to try and make it exciting, and that makes it more challenging for us athletes to try and adapt and show that you can be good when it's not the typical swim-bike-run.
'I think the Enduro will be similar to what we saw in the Triple Mix last year – spreading out the field in the first round and the people behind can't then catch you.
'Day One will be different because there is a mass start in the first and second round this time. Last year we had a pursuit [staggered] start in the second and third round but now everyone will be together for rounds one and two and then start with a time difference in round three. It will be interesting to see how it will play out.'
He added: 'It's hard to be tactical – thinking about coming second or third on day one and then trying to win on day two. If you want to be safe you've got to win on day one and then give your all in day two.
'If you're second on day two it's not about being tactical – you just haven't been good enough to win.'