Giant-sponsored triathlete Tim Berkel kicked off his 2019 race season with a strong podium finish at the Ironman 70.3 Geelong in the waterfront city of Melbourne, Australia.
Conditions were perfect for Berkel and the rest of the 1300 competitors with light winds, mild temperatures and flat water. That made for a fast pace at the front of the field. After coming out of the 1.9km swim in eighth place, Berkel powered his Trinity Advanced Pro to seventh position on the 90km bike and then made his way up through the field on the 21.1km run. He eventually sprinted to a third-place finish just one second ahead of Casey Munro and behind Javier Gomez and Josh Amberger, who finished first and second respectively.
“I was really happy to get the final podium spot to kickstart the season,” said Berkel, who wore the Giant Rivet TT aero helmet and rode a set of prototype carbon wheels labeled #overachieve. “I always enjoy coming to Melbourne to race and it’s a good chance to see my Giant Australia team.”
The 34-year-old said he struggled early but felt stronger on the second half of the run.
“I had a bit of a rough start to the race,” Berkel said. “I didn’t feel that great during the swim and bike legs of the race. I got off the bike two minutes from the lead group, and while trying to find my run legs I initially faded to ninth. I finally started to come good and as I picked up the pace I began to pick guys off. In the end I was able to sprint for the third-place finish.”