Olympic bronze medallist Hayden Wilde underlined his Commonwealth Games credentials with his latest victory at the Leeds WTCS event last weekend.
The New Zealander has made a superb start to the 2022 season – landing the Arena Games finale in Singapore in style and then taking second place at Yokohama WTCS after a thrilling battle with Alex Yee, who finished a place ahead of Wilde at the Tokyo Olympics.
Unfortunately Yee wasn’t able to reoppose at the business end of the Leeds race after crashing on the bike, with his Kiwi rival admitting he was partly to blame.
He said at the time: “There was part of that collision which was probably my fault.
“I just really want to apologise to Jonny Brownlee and Alex Yee, and my team-mate (Dylan McCullough) who I actually collided into a little bit, on the uphill there was a lot of speed going through there and we just caught that momentum and the guys went down behind me.
“I wanted to race those boys properly, not like that, I just feel real gutted to be honest.”
And he later commented on a TRI247 Facebook post to clarify exactly what happened, explaining: “Unfortunately, I touched elbows with my own team-mate.
“Yes, I admitted to being a part of the cause of the crash. This doesn’t mean I went out there to take people out or was riding dangerously. It’s fast and tight racing and unfortunately this happens.”
‘Ready to go for it’
All being well both Yee and Brownlee will be back for Birmingham and Wilde goes there full of confidence.
He told us: “Six weeks out, I feel real good. The course is very similar, probably just a little less intense.
“I’m absolutely stoked and ready to go for it.”
And he’s got a busy race schedule over the next few weekends before the focus switches to the Commonwealths.
“I head over to the French Grand Prix and do a race there. Then it’s Montreal in Canada.
“After that I had over to Metz in France and finish up in Hamburg and then I have three weeks of prep for the Commonwealth Games.”