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Will Lance Armstrong Win the 2011 Ironman World Championship (Kona)?

Updated on December 28, 2010

Evidence Confirming Lance will Compete in the 2011 Ironman World Championship

Lance Armstrong needs something to do after he retires for real from professional cycling, so why not give it a go at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii?

In 2009, while at the Ironman World Championship, Chris Carmichael, Lance’s coach, confirmed that Lance will compete in the Ironman World Championship in 2011:

In 2011, he'll be here....He's super psyched...And I think he wants to do more than just win his age group….” Source

Lance's Post Leadville 2009 Interview

A tired Lance Armstrong confirmed Chris Carmichael’s story at a press conference after winning Leadville in 2009:

I don’t know how competitive I can be but...I think if I can run as fast as I ran in Boston and New York, and ride conservatively so that I can come in as fresh as I can for the marathon, then I will be up there. I don’t know if I will win, but I won’t be far off.” Source

Lance in a 1987 Triathlon

Lance in a 1989 Sprint Triathlon

Lance started his athletic career with Triathlon

Lance Armstrong actually started his athletic career with triathlon. Triathlon is his roots, and this is perhaps why he wants to return to the sport of triathlon after retirement from cycling. Lance actually won the national sprint triathlon championship twice at 18 and 19 years old.

Chrissy Wellington winning Ironman World Championship
Chrissy Wellington winning Ironman World Championship

Opinions on Lance's chances of Winning

Everyone has an opinion on whether Lance Armstrong can win the Ironman World Championship in 2011. In an interesting interview, Chris McCormack (2007 Ironman World Champion) doesn’t think Lance will win and he even throws a jab at Lance, stating that Lance might have a chance to beat the top female athlete, Chrissy Wellington (won Ironman Championship 3 times!).

Chris McCormack's Interview

Chris McCormack on Lance Armstrong winning Kona in 2011

There have been a lot of professional cyclists who have come to Kona…Lance is a superstar, a guy who I admire incredibly, a guy who I have followed and watched and who has inspired me and many of the triathletes who are racing a the top level. But as to whether he can come to Kona and win…I highly doubt it. I am sure he is going to prepare meticulously for it….I don’t see Lance winning Kona. I would put money on it that he would have a very, very solid war with someone like Chrissy Wellington, who is an incredible athlete herself.”  Source

Dave Scott's Opinion

Dave Scott (6 time Ironman World Champion) on Lance winning Kona in 2011

“You have to recognize that for Lance to get in the swim shape of the top male pros…to be able to time trial 112 miles, I’m not doubting his ability on that…but, I’m certainly doubting his potential ability without a long build up to run fast. He ran 2:45 with an entourage of 50 people in the New York Marathon…and they are going to run faster than 2:45 off their bikes…..I welcome him to come over here and do his darnedest, but I think he’ll have his work cut out. Source

Race Across the Sky Trailer

Me (an Ironman, but 0 time Ironman World Champion) on Lance winning Kona in 2011

I don’t think he’ll win in 2011, but I think he’ll win in 2012. I think we’ll see a repeat of the Leadville 100; he’ll get beat the first year, but the loss will light a fire in him to learn from his mistakes and train better. This is exactly what he did in 2009 at Leadville. He lost in 2008, but in 2009 he was so well-prepared that he won, despite having to ride the last 7 or so miles on a flat tire!


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