IRONMAN HAWAII WC - 32nd place


The biggest deception of my sporting career ... 
It took me a while to finally write a few things down, sorry for that.


For the 3rd year in a row, other people decided about my result at the World championships Ironman in Hawaii. It's my 2nd blue card (5min penalty) in 3 editions ... Am I a drafter? An unfair competitor? Do I look for unfair advantages because I'm not strong enough? 
At least, that's what people will think now!
It has been immediately communicated: Drafting penalty: Van Lierde
There's no way for me to fight or protest that penalty, no rights, nothing.


The day started really good for me though. A fast start put me right in the front of the race. Just before the turn around I was not able to swim with the fastest group but I was leading the second group all the way back. Once on the bike I left the group immediately behind me. Followed Cam Wurf for a couple of km and once on the Queen K highway I was on my own. Catching one after another athlete (Rana, McNamee, Chevrot,...) to make my way to the front group. Around km 50 I was joined by Dreitz and Lange when I had just passed Currie. A few km later the head referee shows up next to me and shows immediately a blue card for drafting! NO WAY I was or I had been drafting !!!


I could not believe what I saw, disbelief, even not capable to say or ask something to the referee. After a few seconds he took off ... 2 options, continue and DQ afterwards or slowing down at the penalty tent a few km down the road, take up the 5min penalty, and try to find my good rhythm back. I chose the 2nd option but never found my good legs, my good mental game back. I was a broken man, still trying to make the best of it on the next 120km biking...


In the end, all that I wanted to do, was finishing. No fighting spirit left, some ups and some big downs in my thoughts ... A very poor marathon. That's not what I train and live for with my family and entourage. Lost the pleasure of racing Hawaii... 


Time for some rest and some family time, that's what we all deserve now. Thanks to my sponsors, partners and team for another season with 2 big victories! Ironman France and Alpe d'Huez LD, these are the ones to remember from 2018.


Talk soon!