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Former Ironman world champ Faris Al-Sultan of Germany added another victory to his resume, while Linsey Corbin of the United States was victorious in her first-ever European race at Ironman Austria. While Ironman Austria is normally known for very fast finish times, the athletes were slowed today by hot conditions with temperatures reaching the upper 90s.
Hungary’s Adam Molnar kicked off the action for the men, exiting the water in 50:49. Great Britain’s Philip Graves, Al-Sultan and a few others followed not far behind. A few of the pre-race favorites, including Great Britain’s Tom Lowe and Germay’s Michael Goehner, came into T1 well behind the leaders and would struggle to make up that time throughout the race. As he often does, Graves set a fiery pace on the bike and worked to build a big lead. He maintained a gap of around two minutes over Al-Sultan throughout almost the entire bike ride. The hard effort proved to be too much, and as bike turned to run Graves quickly faded and eventually dropped out. Al-Sultan quickly took the top spot on the marathon and never looked back. His 50:57 swim, 4:25:38 bike and 2:50:38 run easily earned him the victory in 8:11:31. Italy’s Daniel Fontana finished second, with Portugal’s Pedro Gomes earning third.
Hungary’s Erika Csomor led the women into T1 with a swim time of 57:01. Corbin, arguably the pre-race favorite heading into the event, was fifth out of the water at 58:42. Csomor maintained a steady pace on the bike and was able to hold the lead until around the 100K mark, when she was overtaken by Corbin. The American was able to build a nearly four-minute lead by the time she entered T2. Although Csomor put in a few surges and looked like she may catch Corbin, the tough conditions proved to be too much and she had to settle for second. Corbin took the 9:09:58 victory thanks to a 59:18 swim, a 4:54:09 bike and a 3:11:07 marathon. Csomor capped off her day with a 3:09:55 marathon to earn second.
Klagenfurt, Austria – July 1, 2012
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Faris Al-Sultan (GER) 8:11:31
2. Daniel Fontana (ITA) 8:20:37
3. Pedro Gomez (POR) 8:26:31
4. Franz Höfer (AUT) 8:28:41
5. David Plese (SLO) 8:30:47
1. Linsey Corbin (USA) 9:09:58
2. Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:12:09