June 26, 2011- The 2011 Ironman France-Nice is in the books. Much of the pre-race buzz surrounded the rematch of the 2010 race. Belgian Frederik Van Lierde, who finished second here last year, was back to challenge Marcel Zamora, who was here looking for his sixth straight win in Nice.
The swim was not run of the mill. Van Lierde led the men out of the Mediterranean. His split for the 2.4 mile (3.8km) swim was 50:10. The next two men out of the water were age groupers. Thomas Mortensen of Denmark and Edouard Entraygues of France were second and third out of the water. They swam splits of 51:22 and 51:26 respectively. The next pro out of the water was women’s leader Johanna Daumas with a 51:27 split. Zamora was right behind her with a 51:28.
The112 mile (180km) bike ride started with Frederik Van Lierde in the lead, but he battled with Francois Chabaud for the entire ride. Chabaud had caught up to Van Lierde before the 15 km mark and the two men were within seconds of each other the whole time. Van Lierde was in the lead, riding a 4:42:00 split. Chabaud went into T2 only one second behind after riding a 4:41:03. Paul Amey rode a 4:55:41 to be in third place. Swiss age grouper Nicholas Beyeler was in fourth place, less than a minute behind Amey.
Although Van Lierde picked up a few seconds in transition, he and Chabaud entered the 26.2 mile (42.1 km) run in a virtual tie. By the 10k mark, Van Lierde had established a clear lead and wouldn’t look back. Frederik Van Lierde won the 2011 Ironman France with an overall time of 8:28:30. His run split was 2:51:08. Chabaud ran a 2:59:50 to take second place with an overall time of 8:37:18. Marcel Zamora blazed through a 2:46:15 run to end up with an overall time of 8:40:55 to take third place.
The men’s Top 5:
1) Frederik Van Lierde (Menen, Belgium) – 8:28:30
2) Francois Chabaud (Salon de Provence, France) – 8:37:18
3) Marcel Zamora Perez (Barcelona, Spain) – 8:40:55
4) Paul Amey (Essex, Great Britain) – 8:47:04
5) Sergio Marques (Portugal) – 8:49:55
The women’s swim was all about Johanna Daumas, whose 51:27 split not only led the women’s field, but made her the fourth person overall out of the Mediterranean. French pro Jeanne Collonge was second with a 55:10 split. American age grouper Trish Blackwell was third with a 56:38 split. Martina Dogana was fourth in 57:05.
Daumas went into the 112 mile bike ride with a nearly 4 minute lead. She faced challenges along the bike course that diminished her lead to a matter of seconds at some points, but she was still the first women into T2. Johanna Daumas rode a 5:22:36 split. Silvia Felt, who was in eighth place after the swim, jumped into second place by riding a 5:14:06. Britta Martin rode a 5:16:19 to be third at the end of the stage.
Felt took over the lead before the second mile of the 26.2 mile run. From then on, it was a contest to see who would take second place. Silvia Felt won the 2011 Ironman France women’s title with an overall time of 9:34:31. Her split for the run was 3:13:18. Dogana ran an amazing 3:04:09 to move from eighth place to take second with an overall 9:45:56. Martin ran a 3:24:22 to earn a podium trip with an overall time of 9:48:56.
The women’s Top 5:
1) Silvia Felt (Weinheim Germany) – 9:34:31
2) Martina Dogana (Valdagno, Italy) – 9:45:56
3) Britta Martin (Nelson, Germany) – 9:48:56
4) Kim Loeffler (Colchester, VT) – 9:53:08
5) Johanna Daumas (France) – 9:53:29
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