Dan Wilson has won the Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney triathlon today in impressive style. We caught up with Dan to find out how he prepared for the win.
“The two weeks between Shepparton and the Western Sydney triathlon were the worst I’ve had in a while,” says Wilson. “I was pretty tired. I gave myself every chance to recover from Shepp, but the travel and racing was catching up to me and I was pretty fatigued going in.”
Listening to today’s men’s champion, you’d think Dan Wilson had struggled during the race but it seemed quite the opposite as Wilson lead from early in the swim.
Despite feeling tired, he harnessed his experience and trusted he’d pull it all together at the last minute. “I’ve had lots of races where things come good at the last minute, so I was thinking about those experiences,” Wilson says. “I knew I was in good form and I knew I hadn’t lost my conditioning from too much tapering, so I figured I’d be fine on race day.”
Wilson charges forward in the swim
Wilson definitely did come good at the last minute and charged ahead early in the swim. “My plan was the same as my last two races; to take the swim out pretty hard and split things up early,” he adds. Wilson surged forward, taking the lead with Ryan Fisher. The two battled for first, creating a slight gap on Todd Skipworth and James Davy with a sizeable gap behind the four leaders to the chase pack.
Wilson capitalises on his advantage in the bike
“I got through the first 20km by trying to get into it straight away,” says Dan. By the 20km mark, he was joined by 70.3 newbie Ryan Fisher. The two former ITU superstars had created a one-minute lead between themselves and Todd Skipworth. That’s when the healthy rivalry began in earnest. “I knew Fish was a good runner, so I was trying to push hard on the bike,” says Wilson. By T2, Fisher and Wilson had created a lead gap of 2:17 with the pack behind.
Western Sydney triathlon run proves really tough
We ran out of the transition together, and ran together for around two kilometres,”says Wilson. “Then I figured I wanted to test Fisher out early. I knew he was a fierce sprinter and a super strong finisher, so I figured if we were still together at the end he’d be hard to beat.”
Wilson made his move and “put in a few surges early on.” Dan powered forward during the first 10km, but then fatigue kicked in. “I was feeling pretty good in the first 10km, but I started really feeling it in the last 5km. It might just give me something to work on next year.”
Almost three minutes behind Wilson and Ryan out of T2 was Todd Skipworth with a small gap on James Davy, last year’s champion David Mainwaring, Daniel Stein and Lindsay Wall. Mainwaring surged early to catch Skipworth but good mate and regular training partner James Davy hung in and eventually caught and passed Mainwaring to take 3rd spot which he held on to until the finish.
Wilson powered on ahead and made it to the finish line in an impressive 3:45:34 – ahead of Ryan Fisher with 3:47:04 and James Davy’s 3:51:34.
“It’s been an unbelievable year: I was injured at the start of the year, then won Noosa and recently got engaged, so it’s been a great finish to the year,” Wilson sums up with a smile at the finish line.