Ironman France maybe steeped in history and immersed in the glamour of the Cote d’Azur, but that doesn’t stop it from being a very tough race. A very tough race that Marcel Zamora and Tine Deckers can honestly claim to have tamed.
Both athletes were unstoppable at the weekend. And it’s difficult to know whose achievement was more impressive: Zamora’s fifth-straigh victory in Nice, or Decker’s second-successive win in a time that placed her amongst the top ten men. In all honesty, they both deserve plaudits and accolades galore.
Zamora’s win was, once again, convincing. And that was despite exiting the water 4:30 down on early leader, Albert Medrano (47:41). But if Zamora’s 52:12 was not convincing, his 4:46:39 on the bike certainly was.
As soon as the Spaniard came flying out of T1, he was making his way towards the front of a strong pro field. Through the tough, rolling countryside. Zamora and Frederik Van Lierde pulled away from the rest of the field – including one of the pre-race favourites Olivier Marceau. The Spaniard and the Belgian worked hard to build an advantage, entering T2 just a few seconds apart.
Marceau, fourth into T2 behind Romain Guillaume, had left himself too much to do. Because Zamora is a master of the Nice run, and only Van Lierde was able to stay anywhere near him. Aiming to do a 2:40, Zamora narrowly missed his target time with a 2:42:08, crossing the line in 8:25:28. Van Lierde was second following a 2:47:14 marathon (8:30:39) with Olivier Marceau third (8:52:25).
“Maybe I was too fast in the beginning, but I knew that I had to go as fast to get in front of Van Lierde or I might not have won,” Zamora told Ironman.com. “I think I made history, today. For me it was important to win five times in a row.”
Zamora wasn’t the only person making history: Tiine Deckers did too. Despite a relatively pedestrian swim (59:22) which put her way down on early leader Johanna Daumas (52:16), she was able to reel in the deficit o the bike.
An impressive 5:08:13 bike split was more than nine minutes faster than any other woman (and 19 minutes faster than Daumas). Meanwhile, Hungary’s Erika Csomor – tipped by many to be Deckers’ main threat – was undone by a bike split that was almost 20 minutes slower than Decker (5:28:05).
So despite Csomor being able to put six minutes into Deckers on the run, the Belgian had done enough. A 3:07:20 marathon took Deckers across the line in 9:21:29 – her margin of victory nearly 15:00 (Csomor was second in 9:36:08).
Top 5 Men
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
Top 5 Women
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
FILED UNDER: News / Race Results TAGS: Alexandra-Louison / Britta-Martin / Bruno-Clerbout / Erika-Csomor / France / Frederik-Van-Lierde / Ironman / Johanna-Daumas / Marcel-Zamora-Perez / Nice / Olivier Marceau / Romain-Guillaume / Tine-Deckers / Triathlon