The Ironman Triathlon Facebook page recently added a poll to their timeline asking which professional triathlete will win the 2012 Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas race this Sunday in Galveston. The choices are Americans Lance Armstrong and Tim O’Donnell, Germany’s Michael Raelert or the Belgian, Marino Vanhoenacker? All but Lance are triathlon champions at the Ironman and/or Ironman 70.3 distance.
As of this posting, Armstrong is the overwhelming favorite with 408 votes, Raelert second with 347, Vanhoenacker 86 and O’Donnell with 33. This unscientific poll goes to show Armstrong’s immense popularity in a sport he’s just now returning to after more than two decades of competitive cycling (and 7 victories in the Tour de France).
Followers of Ironman’s Facebook page have many, many opinions on Armstrong’s chances and all the attention he’s receiving:
Andy Compas Lance win? Love Lance, but let’s get real, 4th place in this field would be like winning.
Abel Hagan We’d love to see him win one in his home state!
Myles Spatz top ten, not top 5
Alan Presson I absolutely love how so many people in the triathlon world are doubting Lance. Testicular/brain/lung cancer and comes back to cycling and wins 7 straight Tours? First marathon in 2:59, second one in 2:46. He started out as a triathlete. I’m telling you he may or may not WIN, but he will stand on the podium if nothing else from pure heart.
Selukov Arnaud If Raelert if fit, that’s mission impossible, i see him top 3
Joel Schottenfeld He won’t even podium.
David O’Hair Michael Raelert is unbeatable when he is at 100% health. If he is healthy then all my bets are on him!
rian Patton You’re forgetting, Lance’s “test race” got him second place. And he didn’t even know what he was doing yet. I’m predicting he’ll crush the bike this go round. Someone’s going to need to outrun even Bevan’s time to catch him this race. I was shocked by his 1:17. I knew he could swim at the front. Who knew he could run?
Greg Moriates I can’t wait to watch. When Lance gets dialed in with race tactics, he will be a very serious treat to any pro.
The 40 year old Texan will be racing in his second ever Ironman 70.3 triathlon on Sunday. Armstrong’s debut at Ironman 70.3 Panama last month raised more than a few eyebrows. Lance had the 9th fastest swim, was 2nd off the bike and found himself in the lead on the run for most of the race only to be passed late in the day by Olympic Silver medalist, Bevan Docherty of New Zealand. You can see my exclusive post race interview with Lance following Panaman HERE and read what it was like for me to cover his first triathlon in more than two decades.
The 2012 Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas is this Sunday, April 1st. You can watch the race unfold live on IronmanLIVE.com.
Follow me on twitter @IMDaveErickson and see more than 525 original swim, bike, run and athlete interview videos anytime on my Youtube Channel.
My other favorite multisports-related websites include, SwimBikeRunVideos.com, TriathlonFAQ.com and IronmanUniversity.com.