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Paris gold medal favourites Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde say they relished battle at WTCS Cagliari

Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde discuss the battle they had in Cagliari, after it went down to the wire between the pair in a thrilling encounter in Sardinia.

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Having finished second and third at the Tokyo Olympic Games behind champion Kristian Blummenfelt, both Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde are gunning for gold this summer in Paris.

Racing head-to-head over the Olympic distance for the first time this season at WTCS Cagliari, Yee came out on top in a sprint finish to secure a third successive win in Sardinia.

After the race, both Yee and Wilde shared how much they enjoyed the battle, with Yee promising to do his best to keep bringing entertaining races to triathlon fans throughout the season.

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“It is everything I have”

After beating Wilde in similar circumstances this time last year, Yee said it took everything he had to win in Cagliari, adding that he thought both Wilde and himself had squeezed everything out of each other.

Alex Yee, Hayden Wilde WTCS Cagliari 2024 finish
Photo Credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon

“I hope you guys are enjoying what we are putting on for you, because it is everything I have and I spoke to Hayden and it’s everything he has too.

“We are just trying to make racing as enjoyable as possible, we hope you are enjoying it and let’s see if it can carry on for the rest of the year.” 

Yee said that the win was made especially sweet after the way he finished last season, where the British star had a poor race in Pontevedra which saw him lose out on the world championship title.

“I think we were running so fast, that even though we were making little moves here and there, we were both running so strong.

“I am pleased to put Pontevedra to bed, I think to end the year like that was so disappointing and I am just pleased to show that I am a triathlete again.” 

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“It’s a great time”

For Wilde, there was more to the race than just the result at the finish line, with the Kiwi athlete’s performance in the swim a real boost as he prepares for the Olympic Games.

Hayden Wilde WTCS Cagliari 2024 finish
Photo Credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon

“It’s a great time. I said beforehand that I don’t necessarily care where I finish, it is all about the swim, and I came out in the front pack today and that was fantastic.

“I was closer this time than last year, so I am getting closer and closer which is really positive and I know what I need to work on in the next race.

“It is a great tune up for Paris and I am really looking forward to it. It was great out there and I am really happy to be back on the circuit.” 

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“He has to do what he has to do”

Interestingly, Team GB deployed Sam Dickinson as a domestique for Yee in Cagliari, and the Yorkshireman proved successful in thwarting a number of attacks on the bike, including one from Wilde.

Crediting his competitors for their tactics, Wilde said making a break stick with Dickinson was almost impossible, and that this element added to the race.

“It’s never going to work out [breaking away] when you have Alex’s domestique with you and he’s like ‘I can’t pull’. I know Sam [Dickinson] is a strong rider and he has to do what he has to do, it was really fun out there though.” 

Looking ahead to Paris, Dickinson’s perfect execution of his role in Cagliari could sway the decision of the British selection committee, who will soon be deciding who joins Yee on the plane to the French capital in July.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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