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‘I’ve got a bit more in the tank’ – Wilde turns attention to Yee battle

Straight after his win in Yokohama, Hayden Wilde was busy looking forward to the latest round of his ongoing rivalry with Alex Yee.

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Following his impressive win at WTCS Yokohama, New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde is relishing renewing his rivalry with Britain’s Alex Yee.

It’s one win apiece for the pair this season, Yee having landed the opener in Abu Dhabi when Wilde’s hopes were dashed by a flat tyre.

There was no such bad luck in Japan as Wilde took advantage of Yee’s absence to run away with the victory.

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Leading from the front

And he said afterwards: “I was really going for that one. There was that mechanical in Abu Dhabi and I didn’t get to show what I really had out there.”

Referring to an epic run battle with Yee in Yokohama in 2022, he added: “I was so close here last year and this time I just wanted to get on the front, go for it, go for a good time and get the tempo up high.”

Wilde was not far off the front in the swim, drove the pace on the bike and then burnt off his rivals on the run, explaining: “I’m normally in the mosh pit on the swim but was in the single line here.

“And then the bike was hectic but we just had to keep the pace in the front. It was actually a lot better being in the front than in the middle so I just worked hard with Léo [Bergere] and co.”

Bergere was the only one to stick with Wilde at the start of the run before the Kiwi kicked on the second of four laps and never looked back.

Next up it’s Yee

Asked why he’d taken time in T2 to put on a running watch, Wilde said: “I really wanted to go quick sub-29 and I was on pace quite nicely and I was just keeping the pace up really high. 

“On the last lap I was actually wanting to push a little bit more but I know in two weeks I get to go to Cagliari against Alex. 

“So I just eased it off a little bit because I don’t want to be too cooked for that. It was really nice to know that I’ve got a little bit more in the tank.”

Despite taking time to celebrate with the fans on the approach to the finish line, Wilde still managed to clock 29:30 for the run.

In behind Wilde there was a thrilling battle for second place and it was Aussie Matt Hauser who snatched the silver.

And he joked afterwards: “Yeah, like Haydo was saying, I’ve got a couple of races coming up, so I thought I’d just ease into the line and have an easy finish!

“I’ve got belief in my sprint finish, with all that Super League racing and I managed to hold strong.”

Matt Hauser second WTCS Yokohama 2023 [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes]
Hauser powers into second place [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Janos M Schmidt]

Second chance for Vilaca

The man he pipped for second was Vasco Vilaca but the Portuguese star had the consolation of taking over at the top of the overall standings when his third place finish was added to his runner-up spot in Abu Dhabi.

And that news was a big boost for him as he explained: “This is the best season I’ve ever had and going into this race with the number one bib was super exciting. 

“Having the number one cap for me was pretty big and one of the things I was looking forward to was hanging it up on the wall when I got back home afterwards.

“But I lost the cap in the swim so my thought was I’ve got to make sure I have a good race to still get the series lead so I can get another number one cap in the next race!”

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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