Australian Tim Van Berkel had little time between the Ironman 70.3 Taiwan event, where he turned in a podium performance on March 18, and the Ironman 70.3 Davao in the Philippines one week later. But even with the tight turnaround, the Giant-sponsored triathlete managed to score another top result, finishing third for the second straight week.
Held on the island of Mindanao, this year’s Ironman 70.3 Davao celebrated its 10-year anniversary. More than 1800 triathletes participated at a new race venue.
Van Berkel had to fight through a tough swim but once he hit the bike leg on his Trinity Advanced Pro, his race started to come together. “It was a rough start in the swim, I took a few kicks and punches early and lost a minute to the front guys,” said Berkel, who wore the Pursuit aero road helmet. “Once on the bike, I had a lot better legs than I had last week in Taiwan. I was able to ride up to the front group by the 23k mark, and at 70k myself and my best mate Tim Reed got away from the group coming into T2.”
Van Berkel entered the run about 2 minutes behind race leader Kyle Buckingham, but he and Reed caught the South African early.
“I was running in second, about a minute behind Reed at the halfway point of the run,” Van Berkel said. “It was getting hot, and I started to struggle in the head, maybe feeling the effects of last week’s race. “
Mauricio Mendez of Mexico charged through the field on the second half of the run to take the win, and Van Berkel held on for third to take the podium spot. “I was happy to take another podium spot and starting to feel some form coming back,” Van Berkel said.
Next up for the Aussie is the Ironman North American Championships, taking place late April in Texas.