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Potts Outruns Armstrong, Naeth Sets Course Record in St. Croix

im703stcpotts12.jpgRain was the theme, leading up to the race and on race day but that didn't dampen the spirits of the triathletes racing or the spectators coming out to see the 7-time Tour de France champ racing around their island. Under wet conditions on the island of St. Croix, Andy Potts and Angela Naeth get the victories at the 2012 Ironman 70.3 St. Croix triathlon. Both Potts and Naeth win their second Ironman 70.3 title of the year, while Naeth also sets a new course record.

Last minute entry Lance Armstrong, who's was looking for his first win since coming back into the sport and valuable points toward qualifying for Kona earned the third sport on the podium today.

Potts pretty much arrived under the radar before the start of the race, arriving on Friday on the island. Potts led the men's field out of the swim with France's Stephane Poulat on his tail. Armstrong was nearly a minute thirty behind out of the swim. On the slick roads Poulat bike his way to the lead with Potts, Armstrong and others closing in on him. Coming up to around mile 45, Armstrong closed the gap and passed Poulat for the lead. Armstrong reached T2 first and had built up a minute forty five lead over Poulat and Potts before heading out for the 13.1 mile run.

Potts patiently cut the gap on Armstrong who pushed hard and hung tough, holding onto about a minute lead on Potts at the end of the first loop. Potts made his move early into the second loop, reaching Armstrong and passing him around mile 8. Poulat did all he could do to catch Potts and Armstrong but only managed to pass Armstrong to take control of second while out on the run. Potts finishes the day with a 1:12:50 half marathon and the win. Poulat holds onto second place, while Armstrong gets third.

Defending champ Maxim Kriat was back but just didn't have what he needed to be in contention for the win or the podium, he finishes in seventh.

2012 Ironman 70.3 St. Croix Results:
St. Croix, U.S.V.I. - May 6, 2012

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Andy Potts 4:03:31
Angela Naeth 4:28:12*
Stephane Poulat 4:05:25
Mary Beth Ellis 4:33:34
Lance Armstrong 4:07:08
Sara Gross 4:46:43
Alessandro Degasperi 4:08:53
Nina Kraft 4:47:44
Terenzo Bozzone 4:10:04
Tamara Kozulina 4:47:51
Oscar Galindez 4:12:31
Kim Loeffler 4:49:24
Maxim Kriat 4:15:41
Jenny Fletcher 4:59:40
Frederik Van Lierde 4:16:41
Stephanie Jones 5:01:01
Andres Castillo 4:16:48
Marie Danais 5:01:50
Eliot Holtham 4:24:59
Karen Smyers 5:08:07

im703stcnaeth12.jpgGermany's Nina Kraft led the women's field out of the water followed closely by USA's, Mary Beth Ellis. Canadians Sara Gross and Angela Naeth exited the water in third and fourth and found themselves spotting 2:45 to the lead pair.

It was Naeth who showed her usual dominance on the bike as she raced into the lead. Ellis managed to keep leader within 2:00 for the last half of the race, however, that was as close as Ellis would get to the front today. Neath, despite riding a flat tire for last 6-miles of the bike, managed to hold a 1:58 lead as the pair entered the transition.

On the run, Naeth extended her lead to 3:58 at the completion of the first loop of the two loop run. Naeth put her run on cruise control for the closing half, and won her second Ironman 70.3 race of the season with a 5:23 winning margin over Ellis. Even with a flat tire for the last 6-miles, Naeth manages to set a new course record, beating the one previously held by Julie Dibens. Naeth finishes the day in 4:28:12, a minute faster that the old mark of 4:29:11. Gross put together a solid run that thrust the Ironman specialist into third place.

Additional coverage:
- Ironman 70.3 St. Croix Race Coverage and Athlete Tracker [via Ironman.com]

Check out our 2012 Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Results Grid where at a glance you can see the top three professional triathletes that made the podium at each of the Ironman 70.3 Series races around the world. See how Lance Armstrong stacks up in our Ironman 70.3 Podium Scoreboard
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