The gauntlet has been thrown down! Lance confirms in an Ouside Magazine interview that he plans to race Kona as soon as his cycling comeback is over. Lance says:
“I can unequivocally say yes to that. That’s a fact. And I get asked that question every day. I don’t know when it was, less than a year ago, that I got some of these Ironman DVDs. I said, Let’s see what that’s all about. So we’ve been watching them for the past year. I’m definitely motivated to do an Ironman. We’ll go back and I’ll be close to 40, but I’ve swam more in the last three years than before that. And I don’t want to just do an Ironman. I don’t want to approach it like I approached the marathons. I want to do it as fast as I can.”
Look out Queen K. We immediately started debating his likely finishing spot. I said:
“Very realistic shot at top ten IMO, but I doubt he can win because he’s probably 15 mins slower than most of these guys running and 5-10 min swimming, so he would have to ride close to 4 hours flat and run 3 flat.. then again never count him out of anything.”
Scott the (former) swimmer chimed in:
“Back in the day, he was one of the best swimmers in the state of Texas… If he could get that technique back, I think he could stay within easy reach of the top contenders coming out of the water.”
Vinu, who’s been racing long enough to remember Lance’s tri career (even I haven’t raced for that long), added:
“I think everyone underestimates Lance’s triathlon skills. I hail from the era of Lance as a triathlete. He used to swim at the front, ride off the front and then get run down- and that was at short course. But he created a lot of buzz because he was only 15, 16 years old and racing Dave Scott and Mark Allen for the win. There is no question that Lance could crack the top 5 overall.
Take a look at former pro cyclist and NORBA champ, Steve Larsen. When he showed up in Kona he drilled everyone on the bike and placed 9th overall with a 3:20 marathon. He rode through Stadler like a hot knife through butter. Lance would swim 10 minutes faster than Larsen, ride 5 minutes faster and run no slower than 3:10. That would put him into the top 5, top 3, an exciting race. Tim DeBoom didn’t catch Larsen until about mile 13.”
What do you think Lance can do in Kona??