Frederik Van Lierde
2013 IRONMAN World Champion Frederik Van Lierde is one of the most consistently successful athletes in the sport, having raced professionally since 2007.
The glittering highlights so far are two medal-winning performances at Kona, finishing third in 2012 before that epic display a year later as he became World Champion in a time of 8:12:29, some 12 minutes quicker than the previous year.
After becoming ETU European Champion in 2007, ‘Freddy’ began to enjoy massive success on the IRONMAN circuit. Unsurprisingly his favourite event is the annual race in Nice which he has now won on five separate occasions (2011-2013, 2017-2018).
Other successes include a double at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon (2011, 2013), and wins at IRONMAN South Africa (2015), Cozumel (2016) and Lanzarote (2019). To prove his crossover appeal in his home country, ‘Freddy’ also lifted the Belgian Sportsman of the Year award in 2013 following that Kona victory.
His favourite discipline is the bike as it’s the easiest to train for and most sociable, and his least favourite is the run, because “you are suffering most towards the end of a triathlon”.
A little-known fact about Frederik is that he hasn’t been able to smell anything since 2002 and his most embarrassing moment in the sport was receiving two blue cards during a World Championship race in Kona.
The best advice ‘Freddy’ has been given in the sport is to have patience when training and during races because the event is so long that there is plenty of time to make moves.
Van Lierde said at the start of 2020 that this would be his final season, and was planning to run his final event in Belgium. To end the year he was also looking to take part in his first marathon (Nice-Cannes).