Corinne Abraham broke the course record on her way to her first Nice title while Frederik Van Lierde took his 5th Ironman France victory on a windy day on the French Riviera.
Abraham combined a 1:04:10 swim which left her a 9 minutes deficit, a women’s-best 5:03:45 bike split that gave her a 15 seconds lead at T2, and a sizzling fast 2:56:45 marathon that brought her to the finish in 9:11:39 with a 15:51 margin of victory over defending champion Carrie Lester of Australia and 20:55 over 3rd place finisher Manon Genet of France.
Abraham thus broke the race record set by Tine Deckers in 2014 by 42 seconds.
Van Lierde started his day with a third-best 50:54 swim that was 1:31 behind the swim leader, then posted a 4th-best 4:43:42 bike split that brought him into T2 in 2nd place, 6:03 behind super cyclist Cameron Wurf of Australia, who set a race record split of 4:32:20.
Van Lierde sealed the deal with a race-best 2:44:45 marathon that brought him to the line in 8:25:22 and gave him a 10:25 margin of victory over Antony Costes of Spain and 13:52 over 3rd place finisher Wurf, who closed with a 3:04:29 run that held off a late race charge by 4th place Romain Guillaume of France by 37 seconds.
The win was Van Lierde’s 5th at Ironman France, dominating this year’s field but falling short of his own 8:08:59 set in 2013.
Charlotte Morel of France led the women’s wave of the swim in 55:12, which gained her an 11 seconds lead on defending champion Carrie Lester of Australia, 16 seconds on Magali Tisseyre of Canada, 2:25 on Manon Genet of France, 2:27 on Natascha Schmitt of Germany, and 4:26 on Melissa Hauschildt of Australia.
After 20km of the bike leg, Lester took a 1:17 lead on Genet, 2:00 on Morel, 3:04 on Hauschildt and 3:35 on Tisseyre. By 60km, things tightened up as Genet led by 15 on seconds on Lester, 17s on Morel, and 1:30 on Hauschildt. Halfway through the 180km ride, Genet opened a 1:15 lead on Lester, 1:17 on Morel and 1:43 on Hauschildt.
At 140km, Genet increased her lead to 2:54 on Corinne Abraham of Great Britain, who was on her way to a women’s-fastest bike split. Further back were Morel (+3:09), Lester (+3:13) and Hauschildt (+5:00).
After a women’s-best 5:03:45 bike split, Abraham led the women into T2 by 14 seconds over Genet, 2:19 over Lester, 2:41 on Morel, and 4:20 on Hauschildt. After a much swifter transition, Abraham increased her lead on Genet to 1:10.
After 10.5km of the run, Abraham increased her lead to 5:01 on Genet and 5:08 on Lester, but Hauschildt dropped out with physical issues.
If there were any doubts about the victor, Abraham erased those with a 2:56:45 marathon that was 5:17 better than the next-best effort by 4th place finisher Lisa Roberts of the U.S.
Robin Pasteur of France blitzed the men’s swim wave in 49:23 which gained him a 1:29 advantage on Matthew Leeman of Great Britain, 1:31 on Frederik Van Lierde, 1:32 on Romain Guillaume of France, 1:33 on Antony Costes of France, 1:34 on Etienne Diemunsch of France, 1:35 on Giulio Molinari of Italy, and 1:41 on Eneko Llanos of Spain.
By 28km, four time Ironman France champion Van Lierde took the lead by 4 minutes on Leeman and Diemunsch, and 5:03 on uberbiker Cameon Wurf of Australia, on the move in 10th place. By 98km, Wurf grabbed the lead by 34 seconds on Van Lierde, 37 seconds on Llanos, 39 seconds on Costes, 41 seconds on Guillaume, and 43 seconds on Molinari.
By 114km, Wurf increased his lead to 1:23 on Van Lierde, 1:28 on Llanos, 1:30 on Costes, 1:30 on Guillaume, and 1:33 on Molinari. After a race-record 4:32:20 bike split, Wurf hit T2 with a 6:03 lead on Van Lierde, 6:04 on Costes, 6:19 on Molinari, 6:22 on Guillaume, and 6:29 on Llanos.
After 5.25km of the run, Van Lierde whittled Wurf’s lead to 4:23. Next up were Costes (+4:47), Molinari (+5:04), Guillaume (+5:16), and Llanos (+6:47). At 15.75km, Van Lierde was ready to pounce as he sliced Wurf’s lead to 1:01 with Costes trailing by 3:32 and Molinari by 3:58. Halfway through the marathon, Van Lierde took control by 2:19 on Wurf, 4:00 on Costes, 5:05 on Molinari, and 5:18 on Guillaume. Van Lierde sealed his victory with a 2:44:45 marathon.
June 24, 2018
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Corinne Abraham (GBR) 9:11:39 S 1:04:10 T1 4:07 B 5:03:45 T2 2:54 R 2:56:45
2. Carrie Lester (AUS) 9:27:30 S 55:23 T1 3:58 B 5:15:00 T2 3:48 R 3:09:23
3. Manon Genet (FRA) 9:32:34 S 57:37 T1 3:22 B 5:11:17 T2 4:04 R 3:16:17
4. Lisa Roberts (USA) 9:43:3 S 1:06:49 T1 4:08 B 5:26:07 T2 4:29 R 3:02:02
5. Charlotte Morel (FRA) 9:46:4 S 55:12 T1 3:19 B 5:16:12 T2 3:39 R 3:28:23
1. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:25:22 S 50:54 T1 2:56 B 4:43:42 T2 3:07 R 2:44:45
2. Antony Costes (ESP) 8:35:47S 50:56 T1 3:03 B 4:43:35 T2 2:57 R 2:55:14
3. Cameron Wurf (AUS) 8:39:14 S 56:00 T1 3:10 B 4:32:20 T2 3:18 R 3:04:29
4. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 8:39:51 S 50:5 T1 3:05 B 4:43:51 T2 3:15 R 2:58:47
5. Giulio Molinari (ITA) 8:47:17 S 50:58 T1 3:26 B 4:43:24 T2 3:11 R 3:06:20