Giant-sponsored triathlete Tim Van Berkel scored a podium finish at the Ironman 70.3 Vietnam race over the weekend, finishing second and making it three years in a row for a top-three result at the Asian event.
The 33-year-old Aussie was coming off a big effort on the other side of the world just two weeks prior, when he finished fourth at the Ironman North American Championship in Texas, but he was still able to score the impressive result in Danang.
“I was a little tired going into Vietnam but was prepared to suffer,” Van Berkel said. “The run course here is always tough, it’s an out-and-back that’s run in the hottest part of the day.”
The heat is always a factor in Danang, and this year’s race came down to a battle between two Aussies—Van Berkel and Tim Reed. The two came out of the swim 6 seconds behind early leader Mike Phillips of New Zealand, and those three separated themselves from the field on the bike leg.
Van Berkel rode his Trinity Advanced Pro bike and chose the Giant Rev helmet for maximum ventilation in the hot conditions. “I usually like to wear the Giant Pursuit or Rivet TT, but I wanted the most ventilation possible for these conditions,” he said. “The bike leg went OK. I was a little sluggish at the start but the legs came good halfway through the 90k.”
Van Berkel and Reed charged through the first half of the run, leaving Phillips behind. “Being a smaller guy, I think I can handle the heat a little better than some of the bigger guys, and when I’m fresh I can run well in those conditions,” Van Berkel said. “I really love this course—beautiful ocean swim and a flat, fast bike course.”
In the end, Van Berkel finished second, 1:56 off the winning time, making it the third year in a row that he has finished on the podium in Danang.