Marcel Zamora Perez of Spain used a race-best bike and run to take his fifth straight Ironman France title and Belgium's Tine Deckers set a course record while winning her second straight title at Nice by a 14-minute, 39-second margin of victory.
Deckers' performance was one of the most notable of women's versus the men's field in the modern era as she finished 9th overall, although her winning time was a fairly standard Ironman gender differential, 56 minutes behind Zamora Perez's winning time.
But perhaps the best performance of the day, albeit age-graded, was made by 63-year-old Yves Tabarant of France, who finished 63rd overall in 9:55:48 on the incredibly tough Nice course.
Zamora Perez's 52:12 swim brought him out 2 minutes 16 seconds behind top rival Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium, but in the middle of a very large men's first chase pack. Zamora Perez asserted his mastery of the very hilly and technically demanding Nice bike course with a race-best 4:46:39 split that put 3 minutes on Romain Guillaume, 7 minutes on Van Lierde, and 9 minutes on Swiss star Olivier Marceau and a definitive 15 minutes on France's Bruno Clerbout.
While Zamora Perez said he was aiming at a 2:40 marathon on Nice's elegant seaside roads, he didn’t miss much and finished with an Allenesque 2:42:08 that held off Van Lierde's second-best 2:47:14 marathon. Zamora Perez hit the finish in 8:25:28 with a 5:11 margin over the Belgian.
The fight for third took place far behind the two top contenders as Olivier Marceau of Switzerland used his 6:09 better bike split to hold off Bruno Clerbout's 5:12 better run by a 40-second margin - 8:52:25 to 8:53:15.
Tine Deckers trailed Johanna Daumas out of the swim by 7:06, but quickly erased that deficit with a race-best 5:08:30 bike that was 9 minutes better than the second best chaser Britta Martin, 19 minutes better than Daumas and 20 minutes better than her most dangerous rival, Erika Csomor of Hungary. Deckers then shut the door on the field with a second-best 3:07:20 run that gave back 5:49 to Csomor but brought the Belgian to the line in a race-record 9:21:29 and left her with a 14:29 margin of victory over Csomor, with home town Nice girl Alexandra Louison 2:17 further back in third place. Britta Martin of Germany was another 2:28 back in 4th place, and Johanna Daumas was 5th, another 15:41 back of Martin.
June 27, 2010
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Marcel Zamora Perez (ESP) 8:25:28
2. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:30:39
3. Olivier Marceau (SUI) 8:52:25
4. Bruno Clerbout (BEL) 8:53:15
5. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 8:58:56
6. Jose Jeuland (FRA) 9:05:46
7. Xavier Diepart (BEL) 9:06:54
8. Michael Wetzel (GER) 9:12:28 * M25-29
9. Damien Landon (FRA) 9:13:56
10. Cedric Jacquot (FRA) 9:14:21 * M30-34
1. Tine Deckers (BEL) 9:21:29
2. Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:36:08
3. Alexandra Louison (FRA) 9:38:25
4. Britta Martin (GER) 9:40:53
5. Johanna Daumas (FRA) 9:56:34
6. Katya Meyers ( USA) 10:02:12
7. Merja Kiviranta (FIN) 10:05:19
8. Joanna Carritt (GBR) 10:07:44
9. Emma Roca (ESP) 10:23:43 * F35-39
10. Anne Basso (FRA) 10:29:18
* denotes age group competitor