Joe Skipper says Nice “will be like a home race” as he steps up IRONMAN World Championship prep

Joe Skipper says Nice “will be like a home race” as he steps up IRONMAN World Championship prep

Recent IRONMAN Lake Placid winner Joe Skipper is gearing up for another shot at a world title as the Norfolk-based athlete prepares for the IRONMAN World Championship in Nice on September 10.

Fifth last year in Kona, the PTO World #9 will be among the favourites to take the title on the French Riviera, with a tough and technical bike course looking likely to play to his strengths.

In his most recent YouTube video, Skipper revealed why he thinks racing in Nice will be like competing on home turf, why he’s decided preparing in Font Romeu is the best bet and how big of a confidence boost that win in Lake Placid was.

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Joe Skipper on Lake Placid win

Admitting that the season so far hasn’t been his finest, Skipper underlined how important his win at IRONMAN Lake Placid was for his confidence, and how it came just at the right time ahead of a big block of training for Nice.

YouTube video

“I felt really good after that win, I had a bit of time off before the race and then on the day managed to get a really decent performance, so going into Nice it’s good to get a confidence booster and a good result before going into the world championships.

“It was massive for me, because it hadn’t been the best of years up until then and now, up here in Font Romeu, it’s a great place to prepare for Nice.”

Recalling the first time he came up to altitude to train, Skipper said his initial trip was in preparation for an attempt to be the first Brit to break eight hours for the full distance, and since then he has just kept coming back.

“I first came here in 2016, when I wanted to first break eight hours for the full distance, which back then was quite rare, even though now it seems everyone does it. There hadn’t been a British athlete at the time who had broken eight hours so I thought I would give it a crack and come to altitude and I really enjoyed training out here.

“I came back in 2018, 2019, didn’t come when Covid hit in 2020 or 2021 but then I came twice last year and I’m back now so I know the roads and the area really well. I love to be up in the mountains and the scenery here is stunning.”

Team Skipper set to take over Nice

Asked how excited he was to compete in his first IRONMAN World Championships as a father and what it will mean to have his family supporting him in Nice, Skipper was full of excitement at the prospect of having his friends and family in France next month.

Joe Skipper IRONMAN Arizona 2022 [Photo credit Patrick McDermott Getty Images for IRONMAN]
[Photo credit Patrick McDermott / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

“I think it will be awesome, I think it will give me a boost in the race as I’ll have my partner Laura, daughter Arabella, loads of friends and also my Mum and Dad.

“I’m going to have a lot of support on the course out on the course and so I think that it will probably feel more like I’m racing on a home course with everyone out there cheering.” 

With four weeks up at altitude in Font Romeu before then heading for a pre-race camp in Nice to prepare on the course, could this be the year that Skipper finally cracks that elusive IRONMAN World Championships podium? Only time will tell.

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