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Corinne Abraham wins IRONMAN France in course record time

A fifth IRONMAN France win for Frederik Van Lierde and a course record for Great Britain's Corinne Abraham in Nice today.

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A fifth IRONMAN France title for Frederik Van Lierde in Nice

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Abraham runs to course record

After finishing second in three IRONMAN races during 2017 (Lanzarote, Austria, Copenhagen), today in Nice Great Britain’s Corinne Abraham added a fourth career IRONMAN title when winning IRONMAN France. With a winning time of 9:11:39, she was also inside the previous course record of 9:12:21 set by Tine Deckers (BEL) in 2014.

Home athlete Charlotte Morel set the pace in the water (55:12), with defending champion, Carrie Lester (AUS) just a few seconds back. Abraham reached shore in 1:04:10, just over four and a half minutes behind Melissa Hauschildt (AUS), the winner last week of the IRONMAN 70.3 European Championship.

60km into the bike and Morel, Lester and Manon Genêt (FRA) were within seconds at the front of the race, Hauschildt around 90 seconds behind and Abraham around seven minutes down. Abraham was just getting started though, and she would start to make big gains. By T2 she had taken the lead with Genêt just a few second behind. With Lester and Morel less than three minutes down and Hauschildt following soon after, it was all to play for at the front of the Pro women’s race.

From there on, it was the Abraham show. By 5km her lead was approaching four minutes and at 10km it was five minutes. Too fast, too soon? Absolutely not. Abraham was not letting the warm conditions impact her as she would close with a fantastic 2:56:45 marathon – and a massive winning margin of almost 16 minutes.

IRONMAN France thus adds to previous full distance victories for Abraham in Melbourne, Frankfurt and Cozumel.

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Van Lierde makes it five

Winner in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017, Frederik Van Lierde the 2013 IRONMAN World Champion equalled the five IRONMAN France wins of Marcel Zamora Perez (2006 to 2010) in Nice today. Six minutes behind Kona bike course record holder, Cameron Wurf (AUS) at T2, a 2:44:45 marathon secured a winning margin of just over ten minutes.

Robin Pasteur (FRA) lead the way through the swim (49:23), with Great Britain’s Matt Leeman next (50:52) leading a high quality group of athletes including Van Lierde, Romain Guillaume (FRA), Antony Costes (FRA), Giulio Molinari (ITA) and Eneko Llanos among others. Cameron Wurf (AUS) the uber-cyclist was five minutes behind this pack.

Wurf (4:32:20) lead the way on the bike, taking the lead around the halfway mark and building a six minute lead before T2 over Van Lierde, Costes, Molinari, Guillaume and Llanos. Van Lierde was the quickest of the chasers from the start, and would catch and pass Wurf before the halfway mark, holding a consistent pace to the finish for another impressive victory.

IRONMAN Barcelona winner, Antony Costes (FRA) took second, with Wurf (3:04:29 marathon) completing the podium.

IRONMAN France, Nice – Sunday 24th June 2018
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km

PRO MEN

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

PRO WOMEN

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

AGE-GROUP NEWS

Great Britain’s Ruth Purbrook (F25-29) was the first overall female AG athlete, finishing in 9:56:11. Third in her category at Kona last year, she is now qualified for Hawaii where she wants to return and reach the top step of the Age-Group podium

F18-24 – Anna Lawson (GBR) – 11:02:18 – 1st
F55-59 – Elizabeth Gannon (GBR) – 12:19:31 – 2nd
M35-39 – Tom Van Rossum (GBR) – 9:26:28 – 3rd (Tom was also the 10th Male AG athlete overall)

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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