Victor Del Corral of Spain won a close battle with James Cunnama of South Africa and Tine Deckers of Belgium conquered the daunting Nice hills on the bike to win Ironman France.
Tine Deckers quickly overcame a 5:43 deficit to swim leader Leanda Cave with a devastating 5:05:03 bike split – just 17:50 slower than top male pro James Cunnama, and 16:27 better than Emma Bilham’s next-best women’s bike split. Starting the run with a 12:15 lead on Bilham and 22:44 on Leanda Cave, Deckers cruised with a women’s 7th-best 3:13:29 marathon which brought her to the finish in 9:22:04. This gave her a 6:51 margin of victory over Bilham (3:07:19 run) and 23:02 over 3rd-place finisher Cave (3:13:48 run), who edged 4th place Leslie Dimichelle Miller of the U.S. (women's-best 3:05:42 run) by 32 seconds.
Deckers’ outstanding bike split topped the 2015 effort of Olympic cycling medalist and last year’s 3rd-place finisher Emma Pooley by 11 minutes. Decker’s win added to her previous Ironman France victories in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014. So far in 2016, Decker is undefeated with 70.3 wins at San Juan and Pays d’Aix.
Del Corral overcame a 6:35 deficit after the swim and a 7:42 deficit after the bike leg with a dominating 2:42:28 run split that brought him from 6th place at T2 to the lead at 30 km. After Corral passed him, James Cunnama (2:47:51 run) fought hard for the final 11km, falling behind by 1 minute, then reducing the gap to 35 seconds at the line.
Del Corral’s finish time precisely matched his 8:30:00 time for his 2nd place at this race in 2015. His run split this year was just 24 seconds slower than his 2015 marathon.
Stefan Schmid of Germany advanced from 4th at T2 to 3rd place at the finish with a 4th-best 2:45:51 run. Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium staged a comeback from a broken collarbone suffered in a bike crash on April 23 at Challenge Fuerteventura with his 4th place finish, 2:18 back of Schmid.
June 5, 2016
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Tine Deckers (BEL) 9:22:04
2. Emma Bilham (SUI) 9:28:55
3. Leanda Cave (GBR) 9:45:06
4. Leslie Dimichele Miller (USA) 9:45:38
5. Linda Guinoiseau (FRA) 9:45:54 * F40-44
6. Stephanie Reymond (FRA) 9:49:53
7. Kate Comber (GBR) 9:52:29
8. Karen Thibodeau (CAN) 9:54:05
9. Corina Hengarten (SUI) 10:00:05
10. Petra Krejcova (CZE) 10:04:33
1. Victor Del Corral (ESP) 8:30:00
2. James Cunnama (RSA) 8:30:35
3. Stefan Schmid (GER) 8:33:18
4. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:35:36
5. Andrej Vistica (HRV) 8:39:19
6. Miquel Blanchart Tinto (ESP) 8:39:41
7. Gwenael Ouilleres (FRA) 8:40:51
8. Lukas Kramer (GER) 8:42:96 * M30-34
9. Christian Brader (GER) 8:51:15
10. Lars Petter Stormo (NOR) 8:51:28 * M 35-39
13. Olivier Marceau (FRA) 9:02:39