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Coming into Ironman France the top story was expected to be the Ironman debut of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. With Armstrong not allowed to race due to a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation and a World Triathlon Corporation rule, the race was left wide open for Belgium’s Frederik Van Lierde.
Van Lierde kicked off the day with a front-of-the-pack 47:22 swim. From there, he went on to dominate the hilly and technical France bike course in 4:35:42. Despite giving a huge effort on the 112-mile bike leg, Van Lierde went on to run a fast 2:53:39 marathon and easily take the overall 8:21:51 win. Great Britain’s Paul Amey finished second 20 minutes later. Frenchman Francois Chabaud rounded out the podium.
In the women’s race it was Belgium’s Tine Deckers taking her third Ironman France win. Ironman veteran Gina Crawford of New Zealand finished second, with Germany’s Kristin Möller taking the final podium spot.
Nice, France – June 24, 2012
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
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
1. Tine Deckers (BEL) 9:16:05
2. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:26:25
3. Kristin Moller (GER) 9:37:07
4. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 9:47:34
5. Martina Dogana (ITA) 9:55:09