Journey To Kona: Cycling Legend Lance Armstrong Places Third At Ironman 70.3 St. Croix Triathlon
Locals and visitors alike swarmed to the course of the Ironman 70.3 St. Croix Triathlon. The field was packed with world-class competitors, but it was apparent from the start; everyone was there to see Lance Armstrong. The seven-time Tour de France champion has begun a string of triathlon competitions, with Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii as the ultimate goal. Armstrong took third place on a rough and rainy day in the Virgin Islands.
Known obviously for his skills on the bike, Armstrong swam fast enough to keep himself within striking distance on two wheels. Eventual race winner Andy Potts, of the United States, was first out of the water, as he usually is. Armstrong trailed Potts by just 1:23, which was more than enough to catch up to the leader on the bike. Near mile 45 of the 56-mile bike portion, Armstrong not only caught Potts, but took over the lead coming into the second transition. Leaving T2 with a 1:45 lead on Potts was not enough however. If there is a weakness in Armstrong’s triathlon game, it is definitely the run. Potts caught Armstrong near mile eight of the run and eventual second place finisher Stephane Poulat of France soon followed. Overall, Armstrong was pleased with his performance; although he felt he could have done slightly better strategically.
“I felt like maybe I waited a little long on the bike to make my move,” Armstrong said. “There were probably 20 miles there where I could have gone a little harder.”
Armstrong’s third place finish is a definite step in the right direction. In his last race at Ironman 70.3 Texas, Armstrong faded noticeably in the final few miles of the run, eventually finishing seventh. His improved podium performance in St. Croix was an impressive showing for the legendary cyclist.
Next stop for the 40-year-old Armstrong on his journey to Kona: Ironman 70.3 Florida. Congratulations to Lance on third at St. Croix and best of luck in Florida!
Men’s Finish – Top 3:
1. 4:03:31 2 ANDY POTTS 24:29 2:26:13 1:12:50 31:04 41:47
2. 4:05:25 19 STEPHANE POULAT 24:31 2:26:17 1:14:38 31:10 43:29
3. 4:07:08 7 LANCE ARMSTRONG 25:51 2:22:39 1:18:38 32:14 46:24