It was almost a fairy tale return to Triathlon for the seven times Tour de France winner; Lance Armstrong. He was leading going into the final mile of the 70.3 mile course (1.2mile swim, 56mile cycle, 13.1mile run), but two times Olympic medalist and former world triathlon champion; Bevan Docherty (NZ) ran past him in the final mile.
Lance Armstrong started out in triathlon in the 1980′s before starting on a career that transformed cycling forever.
As is always the case when Lance races, controversy is never far behind. Two tweets for 4th place finisher Rasmus Henning were trending high last night.
rasmushenning Feb 12, 8:00pm
“I thought it was common practice to drug test Top3 and not just random from 4th and down? That was not the case at 70.3 Panama.”
rasmushenning Feb 12, 11:43pm
“For the record I would be upset about any race with prize money where Top3 didn’t get tested. Regardless of who. Even if I was IN the Top3.“
Post race interview with Lance Armstrong
Official report from Ironman.com
Docherty and Naeth Take Ironman 70.3 Panama
Docherty passes Lance Armstrong in closing miles of the race to take inaugural race
New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty (pictured) and Canadian Angela Naeth took the titles at the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Panama. Docherty, a two-time Olympic medalist, was second out of the water and seventh off the bike, and came across the finish line at 3:50:13, less than a minute ahead of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong (USA). Naeth, who was 16th out of the water and second off the bike, won with a time of 4:15:31.
Matty Reed (USA), Docherty and Rasmus Henning (DEN) were the first to exit the water. Reed exited transition first. At nine miles into the ride, Bertrand Billard took the lead ahead of a pack of approximately eight athletes that included champion cyclist Armstrong, who made his Ironman 70.3 debut today. Billard remained ahead of the competitive field for most of the bike, but was passed in the closing miles by Chris Lieto (USA) and Armstrong. Just minutes behind were Oscar Galindez (ARG) and Docherty. Lieto led the early miles of the run, but was passed before the end of the first of two loops of the run course by Armstrong (Billard dropped out early in the run). Armstrong held the lead over some of the sport’s top runners, pulling away from Galindez and holding off Docherty until almost mile 12 of the run. Ultimately Docherty passed him to earn his second Ironman 70.3 win and maintain his unbeaten streak over the distance – his first win came 12 years ago.
Top five professional men’s results are below:
Leanda Cave (GBR) led out of the water with Kelly Williamson (USA) and Dede Griesbauer (USA) close behind. Cave was joined at the front of the ride by six-time Ironman World Champion Natascha Badmann (SUI), but the Swiss star crashed in the closing miles of the ride leaving Cave alone in front, just a few seconds ahead of Naeth. Naeth moved to the front of the race before the end of the first loop of the run holding off the strong field that included some top runners. Naeth would hold on to the lead into the finish, holding off the fast-running Kelly Williamson (USA) who posted the fourth fastest run split of the day to run from eighth to second place. Margaret Shapiro rounded out the top-three.
Top five professional women’s results are below:
More than 600 athletes from Panama and around the globe started the point-to-point 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim that took place in the Pacific Ocean. Athletes continued along a 56-mile (90 km) course that utilized the Bridge of the Americas, which connects Central and South America, as they made their way to the Pan American Highway and through the forest that protects the biodiversity and Panama Canal watershed. Returning to transition, competitors passed by Panama City’s downtown area along the Cinta Costera, with the district’s state of the art buildings that emerge on the shores of the Bay of Panama. The two-loop run course took athletes on a 13.1-mile (21 km) run through the Amador Causeway, a major tourism area surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Panama Canal.
Organized by The Ministry of the Presidency and the Tourism Authority of Panama, along with BN Sports Panama, S.A., this was one of nearly 60 events in the global Ironman 70.3 Series and offered 35 qualifying slots to the 2012 Ironman World Championship 70.3 as well as a professional prize purse of $75,000.