Following the completion of stage two Richard Murray was interviewed in the recovery zone following stage two and appeared confident of a title win claiming he would attack the bike course – “big gear, no fear”, he said and predicted at 2:50 pace on the stage 3 run.
With 14 of the world’s finest athletes sidelined for stage 3 they became enthusiastic spectators as their fellow warriors took to the pontoon for Stage 3 start in a race that would decide who would take home the Eliminator title and the winners cheque of $100,000. At the start of stage three Murray stood atop the overall series leader board on 40 points with Mola his closest rival on 31 points. A seventh place or above finish would guarantee Murray the title.
Stage three would crown the winner of Eliminator and following a tight swim Australia’s Ryan Fisher went out hard on the bike to set up a 16 second lead into T2 knowing that if he were to claim Eliminator he had to gap the stronger runners. Fisher held on until lap two of the run, however, the run came down to the three dominant runners of Super League Hamilton Island with Murray, Mario Mola and Australian superstar Jake Birtwhistle quickly bridging the gap to Fisher and subsequently setting an incredible pace at the front. It was Mola who made the first break among the lead pack, dropping Murray in the process, but it was Birtwhistle who looked cool and calm as he sat on the Spaniard’s heels before unleashing a devastating sprint to claim the win and the Eliminator title from Mola and Murray.
But it was Murray, with a third-place finish in Eliminator and victories in Triple Mix and Equalizer, who was the big winner on the day amassing a total of 56 out of 60 points across the three days of racing to take home $100,000 and the Leonid Boguslavsky Champions Trophy as the overall winner of Super League Hamilton Island.
The top three finishers of Eliminator also made up the overall podium finishers for Super League Hamilton Island with Mario Mola in second place (49 points) taking home the second place cheque for $50,000 and Birtwhistle capping off an incredible race week with third place overall (48 points) and receiving $30,000.