Created On: 21 May 2012

It feels good [to win] - I can't deny or lie that I didn't want to come back to the sport and win some races. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into in Panama, but in Galveston and St. Croix I wanted to be in contention for the win and I wasn't there. I certainly came here with the goal of winning. There's a lot of great athletes in this sport and you show up - that's why we have the race. They shoot the gun and the best man normally wins. For me, it's cool to win, but, even more importantly, it's great to be 41 years old and be fit, be healthy. - Lance Armstrong

Men's Recap:

With spectators and fans lining the shoreline of Lake Eva Park, the men's pro race got under way. David Kahn (USA) was the first to exit the water in 23:29 and, as he made his run up the beach to transition, was greeted by throngs of people lining the route.

Armstrong was fifth to exit the water in 24:52 and immediately worked hard to start closing the gap. We know that in Armstrong's past three races he hasn't appeared to really push the bike and has been content to hold back. Today, however, was a different story as the triathlete turned cyclist turned triathlete again had reduced the gap on Kahn by 45 seconds by mile five.

Second place to Kahn at this time was Francesco Godoy (ESP). The word from the course was that Armstrong was pushing hard and, by mile 20, he went into the lead and never looked back. Godoy and Kahn rode together for a short while until Kahn dropped off the pace.

The chasing pack contained 70.3 Champion Maxim Kriat (UKR), someone who could potentially pose a threat to Armstrong's perfect day.

Over the final 10 miles Armstrong relaxed his pace and rode in after an impressive 2:01:13 bike split. With a little over a 10-minute lead, it seemed like Armstrong had exactly what he needed to hold off the faster (on paper) Kriat.

As the chasing men came into transition and started their run, Kahn dropped back and second and third place became a battle between Godoy and Kriat, who started to make his move on the run.

There was never any chance of catching Armstrong today, though. Nutrition issues, demons at mile 9 - it never happened. He was "Mr. Consistency," maintaining a comfortable 10-minutes over Godoy, and then Kriat, right up to the finish line. The pace never slowed and Armstrong blasted across the line hi-fiving the crowd to take the win in 3:45:38. Kriat ran home for second, with Godoy a further two minutes back in third.

He took his maiden win, the title, the fastest bike split and the fastest run of the day - what more can you say?

Armstrong after the race: 

Despite feeling really good, I tried to stay within myself. There are guys in this sport that can ride well and get off and run a 1:11 or 1:12.  If you can ride close to 2 hours and run a 1:15, 1:16 - and assuming you swim near the front - I think you will always be in contention for the win. 

You've got to stay consistent - stay on top of hydration and nutrition.  If you are fuelled up -- and well trained, of course -- a lot of good things can happen.  This got a response from the crowd: "The kid is back!!"

I don't know, maybe Florida is good - the last time I won was 22 years ago in Florida.  The sport of cycling borrowed me for a few decades, but now I've come back to my roots, as they say. This got a response from the crowd: "Welcome back!"

Tags: news,lance armstrong

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