Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Laurent Jalabert To Race At Ironman France

Ironman France will take place on 22 June 2008 and could be one of the largest Ironman events in history with 2,700 registered athletes. Former cycling star Laurent Jalabert is included in the field, competing in his third Ironman.

"I am of course happy to participate in Ironman France," Jalabert says. "Very happy, actually, and also very motivated for this new challenge." He competed at Ironman Switzerland last year and qualified for the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona in October.

Jalabert is the most decorated cyclist to ever give the Ironman challenge a try. He has won Paris-Nice three times, four stages of the Tour de France, three stages at the Giro d’Italia and 18 stages at the Vuelta – plus the World Time Trial Championships in 1997.

He will profit from the experience gained at his two former Ironman events. He finished 41st in Switzerland with a final time of 9:24:29, which included a 12-minute penalty. He improved his time in Kona, finishing in 76th position with 9:19:58! He exited the water in 1143rd position, then rode to a 4 hours and 37 minutes cycling split. He had the fastest cycling time in his age group, the 26th best of the day, and passed more than 1,000 competitors during the bike leg of the race.

In Nice it is expected that he will progress even more. He has already proven that he has the capacities to handle the volume of an Ironman triathlon. And with the support from the locals, who know him well having won the Paris – Nice cycling race three times, Jalabert has the potential to do a brilliant race.

In only three years Ironman France succeeded in attracting a record number of athletes. The entries had to be closed five months ahead of the race. With an expected 2,500 triathletes on the starting line on race day, no other race in Europe welcomes more athletes than Ironman France.

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