Armstrong’s Triathlon Impact Already Being Felt
by Dave Smith
Lance Armstrong has yet to qualify for the Ironman World Championship triathlon, but his impact on the race is already being felt, Bloomberg is reporting.
This year’s Ironman, which is scheduled for Oct. 13, will be televised about six weeks earlier than originally planned, the news service reported Thursday.
It said the NBC network and Erik Vervloet, the race’s chief marketing officer, confirmed the programming change and also said that the broadcast will likely have an enhanced focus on the seven-time Tour de France winner — if he qualifies.
Because the Ironman typically takes eight hours or so for the leaders to complete, NBC typically broadcasts the Ironman in December on a tape-delay basis. This year the network is planning to show it on Oct. 27, and will expand the showing from 90 minutes to two hours.
Despite brutally windy conditions, Armstrong won the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (Honu) in South Kohala in record time last Saturday. It was his second win in two weeks in a half-distance triathlon.
Armstrong, who will turn 41 in September, is scheduled to race his first full-length Ironman event June 24 in Nice, France.
To compete for the championship in Hawaii, a triathlete must first complete a full Ironman event in the same year.
According to the Ironman website, there are two ways for male triathletes to qualify for the race: being among the top 40 ranked professionals as of July 29 or the top 10 of the remaining men as of Aug. 27. For female triathletes those numbers are 25 and five, respectively.
Champions from the past five years receive an automatic invitation to the event.