Hayden Wilde impresses home crowd with blockbuster performance in New Plymouth

by Courtney Akrigg on 26 Mar, 2023 08:23 • Español
Hayden Wilde impresses home crowd with blockbuster performance in New Plymouth

58 of the top athletes on the world circuit, lined up on Ngamotu Beach in Taranaki, New Zealand, to set the scene for the World Triathlon Cup New Plymouth, the opening event on the World Triathlon calendar in 2023. Today’s World Cup was a sprint-distance triathlon format with a 750m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run in New Plymouth.

Conditions had cleared for the men’s race in Taranaki and as the men hit the sand out of the 750m swim, Portugal’s Ricardo Batista and Italy’s Nicolo Strada were the first to exit the runway to transition. New Zealand’s Trent Thorpe and Tayler Reid followed as the men stormed out of the swim, single file into transition and onto the bike course in New Plymouth. Race favourite and New Zealand’s Olympic Hayden Wilde was in nineteenth place out of the swim, 20 seconds down on the leaders. Wilde was so quick to enter and exit transition that it was evident that the New Zealander was set to impress in Taranaki today.

With no room for error, Wilde showed what he was made of by powering up the first hill of lap one to connect with the leaders. After this lap, Reid of New Zealand brought the field through and Strada was right on his wheel. USAs Seth Rider and Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk were right there with the front pack of ten men, alongside Batista.

16 seconds separated the leaders and the second pack of ten athletes, which was led by Mexico’s Aram Michell Penaflor Moysen. Another group of ten athletes were another few seconds back. With the presence of Wilde now in the front pack, it was evident to the leaders that work was to be done. Wilde continued to propel the group along to extend the lead.

On the final lap, the leading group of eight men was maintaining their strong position and there was now a group of 40 men chasing, strung out behind them. The transition from bike to run was set to be ferocious. 

Local hero Wilde dismounted and with no time to waste produced a slick transition and hit the run course with Reid, Mislawchuk, Batista, Brandon Copeland, Strada, Rider and Dylan McCullough.

Wilde went out fast and took off ahead of the pack. The pace was blistering and the Olympic medallist was in a league of his own.

With any hope that they could stick with New Zealand’s best athlete, the battle for the silver and bronze was between six men, running 1 minute 13 seconds ahead of the second pack which included New Zealand’s Callum McClusky.

On the final stage of the World Cup race in New Plymouth, more attention was turned to Wilde as he approached the finish and the crowds of Taranaki were chanting his name. The Olympic medallist and top-tier athlete on the world circuit hooned down the blue carpet to win gold, the first World Cup gold of his career and in front of friends, family and a roaring New Zealand crowd.

Olympic bronze medallist Hayden Wilde owned the race course to come away with the win, in front of a roaring home crowd. Although Wilde has an Olympic medal and multiple medals at the World Triathlon Championship Series stage, today was his first World Cup win and the first time that a New Zealander has been onto the top step at the World Triathlon Cup New Plymouth since 2009.

“I feel on top of the world. It was just lovely to do it in front of friends and family. The family has ripped it out of me that I won an Olympic medal but never a World Series or World Cup medal. So it is nice to tick all four boxes on all four tiers. I did it completely the opposite way, but great to do it on home soil,” Wilde said.

In a sensational sprint to the line, it was New Zealand’s Tayler Reid who took home silver in front of family and friends and Portugal’s Ricardo Batista earned bronze.

“I’m buzzing, 1,2, baby. That was sick. Oh man, that was a deadly sprint finish. The main thing happening out there was Hayden (Wilde) hurting our legs. I’ve been training for this, I haven’t thought anything past this. The world ends after New Plymouth, I’ve been solely focused on this,” said Reid.

“It was a really good race for me. I was not expecting this place. I had an injury at the start of the week and was without training so it was always good to be on the podium. I am really pleased with my third place here,” said Batista.

Watch the action on-demand over on TriathlonLive.tv and review the full set of results online.

Tracker Pixel for Entry
Latest News
more news →