Van Lierde, Deckers rule Nice

Defending champion Frederik Van Lierde from Belgium led from start to finish and grabbed the win at Ironman France in a course record time of 8:21:50. Fellow Belgian Tine Deckers also broke the course record with a time of 9:16:05 to take the women's title.

This challenging Ironman event in Nice was meant to be the Ironman debut of Lance Armstrong, but with the ongoing USADA investigation the Texan was not allowed to start. That now meant that a large group of media folks were witnessing the absolute superb performance of Frederik Van Lierde.

After a very fine 47:22 swim, the soft spoken
Belgian jumped on his Cevelo P5 race bike and turned the pedals with utmost passion and determination and cranked out a race best and course record setting 4:35:42 bike split. Francois Chabaud had the next best split with a 4:48:21 but he had to pay a bit for his hard effort.

Van Lierde finished his day with a solid 2:53:39 run split to break the course record by almost 4 minutes with the final time of 8:21:51. Paul Amey's excellent 2:52:15 run allowed him to finish second, but ore than 20 minutes behind the winner. Francois Chabaud finished the day in 3rd place in 8:45:23.

Gina Crawford was first out of the water in the women's race, more than 5 minutes up on Tine Deckers.

Deckers then cranked out the race best bike split of 5:10:03 on her road bike and that time was 10 minutes quicker than the time of the Kiwi. All the other Pros though had lost well more time and really were no longer in contention.

Deckers 3:02:31 run was better than the competition too and allowed her to win the Ironman France title in course record time of 9:16:05. Gina Crawford finished second 10 minutes later and Kristin Möller rounded out the podium.

Ironman France
Nice, France / June 24, 2012
2.4m swim / 112m bike / 26.2m run

Top men

1. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:21:51
2. Paul Amey (GBR) 8:42:48
3. Francois Chabaud (FRA) 8:45:23
4. Bruno Clerbout (BEL) 8:46:54
5. Sergio Marques (POR) 8:48:55
6. Jose Jeuland (FRA) 8:53:52
7. Axel Zeebroek (BEL) 8:56:43
8. Trevor Delsaut (FRA) 9:02:59
9. Mike Schifferle (SUI) 9:07:08
10. Jonas Djurback (SWE) 9:09:28

Top women

1. Tine Deckers (BEL) 9:16:05
2. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:26:25
3. Kristin Möller (GER) 9:37:07
4. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 9:47:34
5. Martina Dogana (ITA) 9:55:09
6. Beth Walsh (USA) 9:58:26
7. Corina Hengartner (SUI) 10:29:08 * AG