Wilde – One Side Of The Rivalry

“I love watching Alex coming off the bike, running a sub 30min 10k, and knowing he’s my age – if he can do it, then why can’t I?” Hayden Wilde

New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde is on the up, and with a career-best 6th place last weekend in Hamburg he is certainly making his mark. Since racing together at The Super League season opener in Jersey, he has developed a close friendship and fierce rivalry with Great Britain’s Alex Yee. Matched in age but both with different strengths, Hayden puts some of his improvements down to this newly cultivated relationship.

Yea we’re really good mates, we saw each other at Super League, and he was like, mate you’ve got to come to Leeds and train with us after Jersey, so I changed my flight there and then.

I spent two weeks with the boys, stayed at Alex’s flat, and from there we’ve just bonded ever since.

Hayden prides himself on being a strong biker, and our performance stats back this up as he has one of the highest scores. Alex’s weapon is the run – with a sub 30min 10k off the bike. How does Hayden see this balance playing out on the bike course?

On the bike, he is never afraid to work, he might not be the strongest biker, but he puts in the effort. That level of respect is there, and he doesn’t hide behind the covers. He races like Mario, being one of the best runners but doing the work to make sure he’s up the front. He’s in contention instead of hiding away.

“He has developed quite well through the GB programme in Leeds. When he is in a group, he rolls perfectly, gets into a good position, and knows how to take a turn properly instead of surging up to so many watts ripping the pack apart. It doesn’t matter how strong or weak you are on the bike if you can work efficiently and also consistently in a bike group you can still keep that pace up.

So, it comes down to the run, how does he see himself upping his game to tackle the lethal run speed of Alex?

I know he’s super quick on the track, but at the end of the day triathlon also comes down to how strong you are – it is strength and speed. If you come off a 40k bike and you’re not strong enough, you suffer, and it can show.

It comes down to getting that leg speed off the bike and not going hard into it but building. That’s what happened in Leeds, I built into it and got back onto his tail. That gave me some real extra adrenaline thinking I just caught up to the arguably the fastest guy on the ITU on the run stage and I was going toe to toe.

Have his experiences with Super League improved his racing over the last 12 months?

Yea I think it has, your standard ITU race is becoming more and more conservative waiting for the run. Super League is more aggressive, and that relates directly to how I’m racing.

It’s has taught me to use much aggression as I can and not be afraid to take the risks that need to be taken but also be smart at the same time.

With many many more battles to come, we will be getting Alex’s side of the rivalry soon, keep an eye out for that and enjoy the racing until then!