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Norwich triathlete Joe Skipper left disappointed despite finishing third at Ironman UK

Cringleford's Joe Skipper (right) takes bronze at the 2015 World Long Distance Triathlon Championship in Sweden.

Cringleford's Joe Skipper (right) takes bronze at the 2015 World Long Distance Triathlon Championship in Sweden.

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Finishing third at Ironman UK would be a huge accomplishment for most athletes – Joe Skipper had has sights firmly set on finishing first though.

That is because the Cringleford 27-year-old has been enjoying his breakthrough season as a professional triathlete and was looking to build on two excellent results.

Skipper won silver at Ironman Texas in May – breaking the course record for the cycle stage – and finished third at the World Long Distance Triathlon Championship in Sweden last month.

Those results had elevated the ambitions of the Lowestoft born and raised Tri-Anglia member, who also recently won the sprint distance at Norwich Triathlon, ahead of Ironman UK in Bolton.

“I was a bit disappointed because I came second last year and third the year before so I was all about going all out for first,” Skipper said.

“I lost a lot of time on the swim, I felt all-right on the bike but it just wasn’t one of those days when it all goes perfectly and you just have an amazing day, but I wouldn’t say I felt bad on the bike.

“Then I had to have a really strong run to get back in contention for the podium. It was just one of those days where I had an off day, not like the last two in Texas and Sweden where I felt really good and had really good performances.

“Sometimes you are just going to have to a bad day and unfortunately that happened on the one day I really wanted to win.”

Skipper finished the 2.36-mile swim in 56.06mins, in 19th place overall, before rocketing through the 112-mile cycle stage in 4:58.30hours to move up to third and remaining in third after completing the 26.2-mile marathon run in 2:55.44hours – for a total race time of 8:55.38.

Next up for Skipper is the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in October.

“I’ll have a couple of weeks of taking it easy now and then start building up to the world championships,” he added. “It’s the first time I’ve been. It will be similar conditions to Texas but I’ve actually been told it’s not as bad in Hawaii. It was 31 degrees in Texas and ninety per cent humidity, it was horrible, you were walking out of the house and dripping with sweat straight away.

“The atmosphere is supposed to be amazing, the Americans love it and everyone I know who has been have said it’s amazing.”

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