Van Lierde, Abraham take Titles in Ironman France
2013 Ironman World Champion Frederik Van Lierde took his fifth Ironman France title by winning in 8:25:22, a winning margin of just over ten minutes over France’s Antony Costes. Van Lierde was the winner in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017, equalling the five wins in France by Marcel Zamora Perez. Van Lierde trailed in T2 by 6 minutes to uber-biker Aussie Cameron Wurf, but secured the win by submitting the best run split of the day at 2:44:45.
Robin Pasteur (FRA) was first out of the water in 49:23, followed by Great Britain’s Matt Leeman (50:52). The chase group includes the contenders Van Lierde, Romain Guillaume (FRA), Antony Costes (FRA), Giulio Molinari (ITA) and Eneko Llanos. Cameron Wurf (AUS) the was five minutes behind the pack.
Wurf, the Kona Ironman Worlds bike course record holder, again proved to be a world-class cyclist when he took the lead on the bike at the turnaround point and never looked back. Wurf’s split of 4:32:20 was 11 minutes and 22 seconds faster than anyone else on the field. Van Lierde, Costes, Molinari, Guillaume and Llanos followed Wurf on T2.
Van Lierde was the fastest to chase Wurf and would catch him before the 21km mark. Costes had the day’s 2nd best run to secure a 2nd place podium. Wurf held off Guillaume to finish in thrid place.
Great Britain’s Corrine Abraham added her fourth career Ironman title by winning Ironman France in Nice. With a winning finish time of 9:11:39, she broke the course record previously held by Tine Deckers of Belgium in 2014.
French Charlotte Morel was the fastest out of the water in 55:12, followed closely by defending champion Carrie Lester of Australia. Abraham dug a hole with an 8:58 deficit in the swim, and also four and half minute behind contender Melissa Hauschildt (AUS).
Around 60kms into the bike, Hauschildt has made the biggest move and was 90 seconds off the lead, with the front pack consisting of Morel, Lester and Manon Genet (FRA). Abraham was still 7 minutes back at this point. Beyond that point, Abraham made the biggest gain, and would eventually take the lead before T2. Her 5:03:45 bike split was the women’s best, and nearly 8 minutes better than anyone else in the women’s field.
Abraham gradually increased her lead with every kilometer and was a different level as a runner in the field, finishing with a fantastic 2:56:45 marathon. That lead to a winning margin of almost 16 minutes.
IRONMAN France, Nice – Sunday 24th June 2018
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km
1st – Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) – 8:25:22
2nd – Antony Costes (FRA) – 8:35:22
3rd – Cameron Wurf (AUS) – 8:39:14
4th – Romain Guillaume (FRA) – 8:39:51
5th – Giulio Molinari (ITA) – 8:47:17
1st – Corinne Abraham (GBR) – 9:11:39
2nd – Carrie Lester (AUS) – 9:27:30
3rd – Manon Genêt (FRA) – 9:32:34
4th – Lisa Roberts (USA) – 9:43:33
5th – Charlotte Morel (FRA) – 9:46:43
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