The 10th anniversary of IRONMAN France in Nice delivered a sensational race. Though the conditions were warm and challenging, the crowd was treated to a thrilling race with excitement kicking off early thanks to the bike performances of locals Romain Guillaume (FRA) and his girlfriend Jeanne Collonge (FRA).
Stein runs down victory
Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) led the first group out of the water in 50:36 followed by four more French athletes and Drew Scott (USA). Scott, son of IRONMAN legend Dave Scott, began the race with high hopes for his debut as a pro triathlete at an IRONMAN race.
Last year’s IRONMAN Lanzarote champion Guillaume took over the lead from Sudrie in T1, immediately storming away on the demanding course. After 70 kilometers Guillaume reached the top of the course at Col de l’Ecre with a 2:51 lead over Scott and 3:30 lead over Frenchmen Sudrie, Bertrand Billard (FRA) and Anthony Pannier (FRA).
Meanwhile, two other favorites Boris Stein (GER) and Victor del Corral (ESP), hammered through the pro field behind the leaders. Though Stein has shown the ability to ride the same pace as leader Guillaume, the gap proved too large between the two for Stein to catch up before hitting the run course.
Going into the final leg of the race Stein was 8:29 behind Guillaume, with Del Coral trailing 13:13 behind in sixth place. Both knew that they would have to nail down a great run in order to have a chance at the podium. So they did just that. Stein ran a 2:44:20, passing Guillaume after 28 kilometers. Del Coral produced the best run split of the day in 2:42:05. Stein eventually finished in 8:27:32 for first place with Victor del Corral following in 8:30:00 for second. Local favorite Romaine Guillaume secured third with a time of 8:34:44.
With his second IRONMAN victory in the books, Stein exclaimed, “I’m totally over the moon!”
Snow survives the heat on the run
The women’s race got off to a fast start with Caitlin Snow (USA) exiting the race in first place with a time of 57:43. Seven seconds later, Jeanne Collonge (FRA) emerged in second. The Nice resident moved quickly to take the lead, creating a comfortable cushion.
Through the 145-kilometer mark on the bike, Collonge held a gap of five minutes. Snow worked hard on closing in and exited the bike just 4:25 behind. Emma Pooley (GBR) followed in third off the bike with the best split of the day in 5:16:34, just 8:34 behind the lead.
While Collonge struggled in the heat and eventually dropped out of the race, Snow ran into the lead on the first of four laps. She paced herself, feeling danger coming up from behind. Lisa Roberts (USA) ran the first half of the marathon in 1:25:26 and was only 1:23 behind Snow when they entered the final five kilometers.
Fighting the scorching conditions with Roberts close behind, Snow says, “She put a lot, lot pressure on me.” Keeping herself straight, Snow went on to cross the line with a 70-second lead over second place finisher Roberts. Linda Guinoiseau (FRA) finished in third with an impressive age group showing.
Top 5 Men
1 Boris Stein (GER) 8:27:32
2 Victor del Corral (ESP) 8:30:00
3 Romaine Guillaume (FRA) 8:34:44
4 Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) 8:48:02
5 Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA) 8:57:19
Top 5 Women
1 Caitlin Snow (USA) 9:24:50
2 Lisa Roberts (USA) 9:26:00
3 Emma Pooley (GBR) 9:43:58
4 Stephanie Reymond (FRA) 10:01:21
5 Anna Rovira Garrido (ESP) 10:21:44