TRI247
Search
shop

Olympic gold medal contenders Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde impress in France

Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde delivered in style in France on Saturday at the Lindahls Pro+ Triathlon Series, Fréjus.

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -
SHOP

It’s already one of the best rivalries in the sport, and if today’s action on the Côte d’Azur is anything to go by, we are set for another sensational season of racing between Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde. Olympic medallists three years ago in France, they will be strong favourites to be featuring on the podium again in Paris, if their early season form is anything to go by.

For many years now, the French Grand Prix Series has seen many of the world’s best racing, and under the new title of the Lindahls Pro+ Triathlon Series, the first race of 2024 took place today in Fréjus.

Yee took the win, but both will be equally satisfied with their performances.

There was a British double too, as Jessica Fullagar sprinted to victory and break the tape just ahead of home athlete, Candice Denizot.

Advertisement

Yee wins, but Wilde in fine form

Racing over the sprint distance, the flat and fast five-lap bike course saw the large field of 90+ athletes reduced to 25 approaching T2, with quality athletes like Tim Hellwig, Lasse Luhrs and recent supertri E winner, Chase McQueen among those looking to challenge the established superstar duo. Pierre Le Corre, winner of WTCS Sunderland last year, was one of star names who didn’t make that front pack – a reflection of the depth of fields these races can generate.

Seemingly set for a showdown on the run, Wilde’s luck took a turn for the worse with a puncture incurred within the final kilometre of the ride. He stayed upright, but would ultimately start 17 seconds back and last onto the run of that large lead group. You just can’t give Yee that sort of start.

In his first race of the season, the Brit looked in majestic form on the run and took the lead from the first few metres, ran clear and was never threatened. Hellwig held strong behind, and while Wilde likely knew his chance of victory was gone, he didn’t let that impact his effort, especially as team points for his squad, Triathlon Club De Lievin, are the primary goals of this series.

Yee cruised to a 13:29 run split for the 5k-ish course, while Wilde proceeded to ‘pacman’ everyone else ahead to come through to second place with a 13:26. Ignore the absolute numbers – they were still 20-seconds quicker than everyone else, with Yee able to take it easy into the finish. A class above.

So, no shoulder-to-shoulder battle this time – but both were rightly more than content with their efforts.

“More battles to come” says Yee

“I still didn’t think I had that good a swim”, said Yee immediately afterwards, “but hopefully there’s more to come, and if that’s a bad swim, hopefully I can grow.

“It gives good confidence, but obviously I’m sorry for Hayden because he got a puncture in the last 200-metres, which unfortunately means that it’s so hard over 5k, to come back into the race. Hopefully we’ll have some more battles to come… it’s exciting.”

Hayden Wilde / Alex Yee WTCS Cagliari 2023 run
[Photo Credit – World Triathlon]

“The form is good”

While he had to overcome that puncture challenge, it didn’t impact Wilde’s post-race mood… and why should it?!

“It was good. I was really happy with my swim. Three months ago I was really disappointed [Ed. World Triathlon Cup Napier], so I came to Antibes – the whole reason was for a lot of swimming. My legs are probably a bit fatigued from racing on the running track three days ago, but my aim was to be safe on the bike and so I really pushed it and we broke up the group really nicely, I think I was pushing some very big power, and then on the last kilometre I got a puncture.

“I lost a lot of time after that, so I thought that I’d just take my time, take the first lap nicely and catch the group up and then start chasing the podium. It is what it is and the form is good, so happy.”

And that running track reference? On Tuesday this week, Wilde ran a 5000m track race at the Meeting Iberoamericano Huelva in Spain, where he clocked a seriously impressive personal best of 13:23:91, which is a few seconds ahead of the track best of Alex Yee, set back at the Müller Anniversary Games in London (2019).

While comparisons are interesting, heading into an Olympic year, two of the biggest favourites for gold are seemingly in fantastic form. With Alex skipping the WTCS event in Yokohama next week, they look set to meet again at the end of May in Cagliari. If it’s anything like last year, don’t miss it.

Fullagar sprints to victory

22nd out of the water, Jessica Fullagar called upon her always reliable bike legs to break the race apart on two wheels.

While the men had more than 20 athletes heading towards T2 in close order, it was Fullagar and fellow breakaway riders Candice Denizot and Zsanett Bragmayer who would start the run together, and not be seen again by their chasers as they battled, shoulder-to-shoulder at times, for almost the entire run.

They were still locked together heading into the last few hundred metres of racing, and in an exciting finish, the British athlete was just able to take the overall victory for her Tri Val De Gray team over Denizot, with Bragmayer just four seconds back on that duo.

Lindahls Pro+ Triathlon Series, Fréjus
Saturday 4th May 2024 – 750m / 20km / 5km

MEN

  • 1. Alex Yee (Valence Triathlon) – 50:14
  • 2. Hayden Wilde (Triathlon Club De Lievin) – 50:28
  • 3. Tim Hellwig (Triathlon Club De Lievin) – 50:38
  • 4. Yanis Seguin (Triathlon Club De Lievin) – 50:48
  • 5. Maxime Hueber Moosbrugger (Metz Triathlon) – 50:50

WOMEN

  • 1. Jessica Fullagar (Tri Val De Gray) – 56:53
  • 2. Candice Denizot (Poissy Triathlon) – 56:53
  • 3. Zsanett Bragmayer (Metz Triathlon) – 56:57
  • 4. Anne Holm (Issy Triathlon) – 57:41
  • 5. Sandra Dodet (Poissy Triathlon) – 57:52
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
Discover more
Sumarpo vanguard vs Zone 3 Vanquish X triathlon wetsuits
ZONE3 Vanquish X wetsuit vs Sumarpo Vanguard wetsuit – how do these triathlon wetsuits match up?
Essential Beginner's Triathlon Gear & KIt
Triathlon gear for beginners: essential kit for getting started
open water swimming Sumarpo wetsuit
How to improve swimming endurance – PRO tips to help you swim further in open water
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Wetsuit buying guide – How to choose the best wetsuit for triathlon, open water swimming, SwimRun and cold water
Aviles Duathlon
What is a duathlon? Beginner’s guide to distances, training plans and kit
latest News
Alex Yee WTCS Pontevedra 2023
Olympic Games triathlon: British gold medal favourite Alex Yee warms up for Paris 2024 with another win
Hannah Berry took the win at IRONMAN Cairns in Queensland,
IRONMAN Cairns 2024 Results: Burton and Berry take Asia-Pacific titles as Skipper misses podium
Lucy Charles-Barclay wins IRONMAN France 2024
IRONMAN France 2024 results: Lucy Charles-Barclay validates World Championship spot with CRAZY run
Gustav Iden Kona athlete sign in 2022 photo credit Donald Miralle for IRONMAN
Gustav Iden shares heartfelt message after major milestone on the journey back to the top
Sam Long celebrates at the San Francisco T100.
Sam Long targeting two major T100 races after season break to resolve personal problems
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
GET RACE READY - SHOP WITH SBRX
GET RACE READY - BUY WITH SBRX
Share to...