Two-time Ironman France and 2011 Abu Dhabi Triathlon champion Frederik Van Lierde has been a professional triathlete since 2003, and is also a member of Leie Triatlon Team Latem, one of Belgium’s best triathlon teams. The 32-year-old Belgian holds a degree in physical education, and is certainly self-motivating, having revealed that he mostly trains alone. His favorite place for a training camp is at Font Romeu, an increasingly popular training spot in the French Pyrenees not very far from Spain.
Last year, Van Lierde had an amazing win at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in the United Arab Emirates. In 2011, Van Lierde rode a Cervelo P4, which was the bike that took him to victory in Abu Dhabi against a stellar field of competition. Van Lierde then followed up his amazing Abu Dhabi win by defeating the seemingly unbeatable Marcel Zamora at the French Ironman competition in Nice. Now on a Cervelo P5 and after these wins, Van Lierde's name has become one that was mentioned among those who could be a contender in Kona at the 2012 World Ironman Championships.
When he's not racing, Van Lierde enjoys watching others ride as a true aficionado of cycling. He lives not far from all the little steep hills that cyclists have to contend with in Belgium's Tour of Flanders annual road cycling race. Despite his home country’s famous beer, Van Lierde says he prefers a glass of red wine, the perfect accompaniment to his favorite meals of Italian food. He has been married to his wife Sofie Vandermeersch since 2002, and is a father to the couple’s two children, Aaron and Simon.
Van Lierde is heavily supported by sponsorship through the Belgian Army, who pays him a salary that he has said enables him to work full-time as a professional triathlete. The Belgian army recruits young athletes from different sports, and after two months of basic training, allows an athlete like Van Lierde to focus full-time on their sport while being paid as a soldier.
Having won the 2011 and 2012 Ironman Nice competitions and coming third in the 2012 Ironman Melbourne, Van Lierde is next set to hit up Kona for the 2012 Ironman World Championship.
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