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Wilde draws parallels with the greats after battling Yee in Cagliari

Hayden Wilde was full of praise for rival Alex Yee after a great battle in Sardinia.

Staff Reporter
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New Zealander Hayden Wilde compared his ongoing rivalry with Alex Yee to the one previously enjoyed by legends of the sport Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez after the pair duked it out at WTCS Cagliari on Saturday.

Yee, who was the winner at WTCS Abu Dhabi in March, prevented Wilde from taking consecutive wins after his victory at WTCS Yokohama a fortnight ago, as the Brit kicked clear of the Kiwi in the closing stages of the run.

After the race, Wilde credited his friend for his part in what is shaping up to be the best rivalry the sport has seen in recent years, as both young stars continue to work towards turning their podium places at the Tokyo Games to gold in Paris.

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“I had to get the Dyson out of the bag”

Despite losing out to Yee in the last section of the run, Wilde was in good spirits after the race, as he revealed he wasn’t too certain how the race in Sardinia was going to play out prior to the gun going.

Hayden Wilde / Alex Yee WTCS Cagliari 2023 run

“I was pretty stoked, because I didn’t know what to expect in the heat after being home in New Zealand, but it’s lovely to be out here.

“I had to recover a little after Yokohama, I had to get the Dyson out of the bag because I was a little dusty to be honest, but that’s the racing I love.”

Having exited the water alongside Yee, just over 15 seconds back from the leaders, Wilde shared just how important being able to make that front pack was for the rest of his race.

“It is so nice that we are in the front group of the swim. That’s two times now so I can tick that one off the box. We just made the ride hard, there was a point there where we were just working beautifully and pulled away from that chase group with Kristian [Blummenfelt] and Jelle [Geens].

“It came down to the run and it was just a ding dong at the front. It is really nice to have Alex back on the circuit, there were a few times when he attacked and then I attacked, and he got me just at the end, but we’ll just wait for next time.

“I feel like I’m Javier and Alex is Alistair”

Reflecting on the rivalry between himself and Yee, the New Zealander was quick to draw parallels to the legendary battles between Gomez and Brownlee, whilst also acknowledging that there were plenty of other potential contenders in the field.

“To have the best right here, despite missing some of the best athletes like Vincent [Luis], it’s really nice to have everyone there.

“I feel like I’m Javier and Alex is Alistair, we are just fighting all the time and we have Leo as well, who is really dangerous if we don’t make that front group because he’s an amazing rider as well.

“I think for the spectators, for the entertainment and for triathlon itself, it is really good to have guys up there at the front and not just people up ahead by themselves.”

For Wilde, after a busy start to the season, the next step will be to regroup and ramp up the training intensity for a big summer of racing. His next top tier race will be at WTCS Hamburg in July following a training camp in Andorra.

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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