Australian Tim Berkel traveled to Taiwan last weekend to compete in his first triathlon of the season, the Ironman 70.3 Taiwan. Racing in the scenic setting of Taitung in the southeast region of the island that’s also home to his bike sponsor Giant, Berkel had a strong showing to finish third in the elite men’s race.
“It was my first race of the year, so I was a little rusty,” said Berkel. “I didn’t have a great start in the race, but I got better as the day went on. I was happy to get third to kick-start the year.”
The 70.3 distance race started with a one-lap swim in Flowing Lake. Berkel came out of the water near the front of the pack, but almost a minute behind early race leader Cody Beals of Canada. After the first transition, he had a solid ride on his Trinity Advanced Pro bike, wearing the Pursuit helmet. He gained a few places and then put in a strong run to finish the day third behind Beals and Filipe Azevedo.
Berkel has another Ironman 70.3 coming up this weekend in the Philippines as he tries to ramp up for his first early-season goal next month, the Ironman North American Championship in Texas.