Joe Skipper wins Ironman Wales with incredible comeback

GB's Joe Skipper clawed back a 23min deficit to win the race by over 8mins

TENBY, WALES - SEPTEMBER 11:  Joe Skipper of Britain celebrates winning IRONMAN Wales on September 11, 2022 in Tenby, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Great Britain’s Joe Skipper had the race of his life on Sunday 11 September to win Ironman Wales and bag his slot for the 2023 Ironman World Championship. 

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After a slow swim off Tenby beach which saw him 5mins down on the leader, he then suffered mechanical issues on the bike that left him 23mins behind.

But his wealth of experience and run prowess saw the 34-year-old long-distance star catapult back into the first place and win with 8mins in hand.

What happened in the swim?

GB’s Andrew Horsfall-Turner, who just beat Alistair Brownlee out of the water in Swansea last month, was the first out of the water after the 3.8km swim with a time of 44:29mins.

What happened on the bike leg?

Joe Skipper suffered a mechanical on the bike leg at Ironman Wales 2022 that lost him 23mins. (Credit: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Ironman)

Skipper, although 5:09mins behind out of the water, appeared relaxed and in control. But about a third of the way into the 180km bike leg, his chain became tangled on a descent and he quickly lost 20mins waiting for help.

By T2, he was back in the top five but the gap to Horsfall-Turner was still 15:54mins.

What happened on the run leg?

No such worries for Skipper, who by the halfway point had clocked a 1:16 half-marathon and had closed the gap to just 3mins to the now leader Boris Stein (GER).

It took just 9km more for Skipper to make the pass, leaving him free to go it alone to the finish line.

Who won Ironman Wales 2022?

A final marathon time of 2:37:25 saw the Sub7hr triathlete cross the line after 8:35:49, with 8mins in hand over Stein and a further 7mins over Kevin Maurel (FRA) in third.

 

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Speaking to @thebricksession podcast on Twitter post-race, Skipper said: “Shame I lost 20 minutes on the bike with a mechanical as that would have been a decent time as well.

“Chain got all tangled up in a knot after a descent and just couldn’t get it out. Had to wait for some bike support and completely undo the chain eventually to get it out. Thought my race was over.”

Horsfall-Turner would round out the top five with a time of 8:58:36.

Ironman Wales 2022 results*

Winner Joe Skipper (C), runner-up Boris Stein (L) of Germany and third-place finisher Kevin Maurel (R) of France on the podium at Ironman Wales on 11 September, 2022. (Credit: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Ironman)

1. Joe Skipper, GBR – 8:35:49
2. Boris Stein, GER – 8:43:54
3. Kevin Maurel, FRA – 8:50:38
4. Andrej Vistica, CRO – 8:52:18
5. Andrew Horsfall-Turner, GBR – 8:58:36

(* No pro women’s event in 2022)

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Top image credit: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Ironman