The season so far: Frederik van Lierde
When Frederik van Lierde lines up for Ironman France on June 24, it will feel like deja vu all over again.
Sunday will mark the seventh time the Cervélo athlete has started the iconic race, and with a stunning four victories under his belt the Belgian is aiming to join Marcel Zamora at the top of Nice’s all-time win list.
Unfortunately for his rivals, Freddie’s buildup to what he calls “my favourite race” also looks familiar. With a few notable exceptions — victories at Ironman South Africa in 2015 and the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon among them — the 2013 Ironman World Champion tends to use the early season to assess his fitness before turning it on.
2017 exemplified this approach: After three Top 10s in Port Elizabeth, Pays d’Aix and Barcelona, Freddie reeled off three straight victories, including Ironman France. This season looks much the same, with another Top 10 coming in late April at Ironman Texas. Despite taking a wrong turn while leading the bike leg and riding 3 kilometres further than the rest of the field, he still managed to achieve his personal best by going almost 7 minutes under the eight-hour mark.
And it gets worse for his rivals: Freddie has spent the last three weeks training at more than 1,800 metres above sea level in the French Pyrenees. “For me, this is the best place to prepare for Nice, so I know my shape is really good now going into race week,” he said. “Can’t wait till the gun goes off!”
Needless to say, we at Cervélo can’t wait either...
Learn more about Freddie by clicking here, and follow him on social media at: