Ironman Austria took place Sunday July 1, 2012 and had the full attention of the triathlon world as it was the only WTC race on the schedule for the weekend.
It was a certainty that a new champion would be crowned as six-time winner Marino Vanhoenacker of Belgium was not scheduled to start. In the 2011 version of Ironman Austria, Vanhoenacker established a new world record for the WTC Ironman distance with a blistering 7:45:59.
The favorite going into the race was the reigning Ironman European Champion, Faris Al-Sultan. It promised to be a great battle that would come down to the super-fast, flat marathon course with Germans Markus Fachback and Michael Goehner expected to offer some stiff competition.
Philip Graves and Balazs Csoke also were considered capable of earning a podium spot on their best effort.
However it was German star Faris Al-Sultan living up to his top-billing by decimating the field out on the marathon course.
Al-Sultan began the run several minutes behind Peter Graves leaving the bike/run transition but in the early kilometers took over the lead from a struggling Graves and by the half-way point of the marathon had established a four minute lead over Daniel Fontana who had taken over second spot.
Peter Graves had run into problems and had slipped to fifth place over eleven minutes behind race leader Al-Sultan. Göhner Michael also from Germany fell behind in the bike and never was able to make up any ground and was fourteen minutes off the pace.
It was all Faris Al-Sultan as he continued to build on his lead in the last half of the marathon and was crowned the new Ironman Austria champion with a winning time of 8:11:31.
The race for top spot for the pro women is still in progress at press time.
At the seven kilometer mark of the marathon it had developed into a two-woman race as American Linsey Corbin was leading Erika Csomor of Hungary by just three minutes with third-place woman Michaela of Austria over seventeen minutes back of the leader.
For the complete story of how Ironman Austria 2012 unfolded and an update on the progress of the race for top spot among the pro women visit IronStruck.com