Hayden Goes Wilde In Malta

Hayden Wilde proved he has the toughness to back up his talent after finishing on the podium following a bruising few days at Super League Malta.

The New Zealander was involved in a nasty bike crash the day before the Semi-Finals which left him with nasty road rash and an open wound on his face that required medical attention.

Wilde then had to take evasive action in the Semi-Final to just about avoid hitting the deck again as another crash happened in the pack he was riding in.

Heading into the Final it would have been all too easy for Wilde to think it wasn’t going to be his weekend, especially given he had to be cautious in the swim to protect his facial injuries.

But he proved his physical and mental strength by overcoming the injuries and confusion on the bike time trial to produce another stunning display to finish third and top three of the coloured jersey leaderboards.

He said:

“First off we didn’t know how many laps we had done. People were asking ‘how many laps have you done’ and to be honest I had no clue so I was just trying as hard as I can trying to catch Vincent.

“It sounds like we did an extra lap so we were pretty tired after that and we all pretty much jumped in the water at the same time so I dived in and got absolutely hammered from the start and was just thinking ‘don’t hit in me in the face’.

“I got round the first buoy and got smashed and then going forward I got smashed and I came out the back and thought ‘not again’.

“The legs felt really good because I wasn’t swimming so hard. That wasn’t on purpose. I wanted to swim harder but I couldn’t and got onto the bike and hammered it and got onto the front group with Vincent and felt real comfortable, got into the water and felt comfortable and got my own space and got onto that train of Marten, Kristian and Iden and we went as hard as we could.

“I got disconnected but somehow bridged the gap to the group of four up the hill so I was pretty stoked to get there but I was red lining pretty hard.

“On the run actually coming into transition there was a gap to Vincent and Kristian and I tried to close it but I left my foot in transition before unclipping and nearly got a penalty but just made it in time.

“I got into the run and had a fumble because I was a bit flustered and then it was just a race for third and I wanted it so bad having had the week I’ve had so coming in third is great.”

Wilde, nicknamed the Maltese Falcon, was again given huge support from what has almost become his home crowd.

He spent some time in the build-up touring the island and admitted to having a great experience.

“It’s been absolutely lovely. I have been waiting for this week all year.

“The Maltese crowd has been absolutely fantastic and pretty much for the whole course everyone was screaming my name which was fantastic.

“I loved it but it’s time to go home and have some R&R and really just enjoy the rest of the year.”

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