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Joe Skipper provides Lake Placid debrief and reveals masterplan for IMWC Nice

Big confidence booster ahead of that massive day in Nice

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Joe Skipper is bang on course for an IRONMAN World Championship bid in Nice in September after a confidence-boosting success in Lake Placid on Sunday.

The 35-year-old British star claimed his first victory of 2023 as he held off Ben Hoffman and Matt Hanson for an impressive success in a time of 8:03:46.

Afterwards Skipper provided a detailed debrief of his day, beginning with the swim.

He explained: “The swim was probably okay, four minutes behind Josh. I was out with Matt Hanson, which I was where I was hoping to be. It would have been good to have Cody and Ben with us as well because I knew they were two big threats as well, but they gapped us and I think had a couple of minutes out of the water.”

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Skipper puts hammer down

The bike was where Skipper really took control of the race, first bridging up to join the front pack and then making a break as they headed towards T2.

“On the bike I just felt like I was riding really well, the legs felt good, the power was good and it felt like I was pretty aero, so going quite well. When I caught the guys at 60k, I decided to sit in for a bit and see how they were going. And just pick the right opportunity to try and put a breakaway in. I just kind of got a sense that there was a good time to go.

“Josh started putting a bit of a dig in and I saw people were struggling to close the gap. So I just thought I would do 20-25 minutes really hard on the uphills and round the town centre, sprinting out of the corners, and we managed to get away.

“Then I knew it was going to be a case of just working together with Josh, hoping we could ride smooth and just put as much time in to Matt and Ben and Cody as possible.”

If Skipper had felt really good during the bike leg, he had a much more nervous time early on the run. Through forces outside of his control.

Run was ‘absolutely horrendous’

He revealed: “Out on the run, to be honest it was absolutely horrendous, as I didn’t get any time splits. I thought at 5.5miles I was going to have about 4 minutes on Ben Hoffman, and when I saw 1:50 that was a bit of a downer to be honest. I was thinking he must have taken at least a minute out of me already, and I was like ‘this is gonna be very tough’.

“Then I got a split at about the halfway point, once you get to the out bit on River Drive, and I think I was 1:40. I thought right, the crucial bit now is from 13 to 18 miles. So I hit it really hard, pushed out for 5 miles, and the gap went out to 2:20. I was like I think I can hold on now. I was doing the maths in my head and I’m thinking ‘God I can lose 20 seconds a mile’. But yeah, he really made me work for that.”

Skipper reveals Nice prep

Now Skipper will take a short break to spend time with his wife and their baby daughter, before starting his final preparation for that massive day in Nice on September 10.

“It’s a decent confidence booster, I’ll go home, take a week easy, help the missus out because we’ve got our first child now. Going away for a week, I think I’m going to be on dad duty. So it’s gonna be pretty busy when we go back.

“Then in August going to Font-Romeu in the Pyrenees, do some altitude training. Then go to Nice two weeks before the race, practice out on the course. Similar prep to what I did for IRONMAN Wales last year, when I had probably my best ever Ironman race.

“So that will be the plan leading to Nice.”

Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
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