When it comes to Ironman events, one name often discussed for her physical prowess on the bike is 38-year-old Belgian triathlete Tine Deckers. She has been competing professionally since 2008. After turning pro, she only had to wait one year before collecting her first Ironman victory. It was held in Nice, France where she not only took home gold but also became the first Belgian woman to win an Ironman.
Since that fateful day, she has gone on to claim four additional victories in this event, earning the nickname “Miss Nice” in the process. In this year’s edition, on her way to nailing the win, she clocked the best bike split ever on the course. She broke the record atop her E-119 Tri.
Of the nine events entered this season, Deckers won three – an impressive feat for an athlete. The other two were 70.3 Ironmans held in Puerto Rico and Pays d’Aix. She also placed 2nd in Ironman UK and the Half Ironman Sardinia Challenge.
Bike Leg: Key in Success
Deckers’ strongest leg in triathlons is easily the bike. In every race she entered this year, she won time on her competitors. In Dubai, her first 70.3 Ironman of the season, she moved up from 10th to 5th position during the bike leg. At her very next event of 70.3 Ironman Puerto Rico, not only did she bridge to the leader 3 minutes up the road, but built a 4-minute lead over the field heading into the run.
Midway through the season, she and her E-119 Tri were handed the ultimate test at the Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix. The race was to be kicked off with a bike time trial after the swim leg was cancelled due to extreme weather. By the end of the 90 kilometers, she had accumulated a whopping 6-minute lead on the rest.
In the infamous Ironman World Championship in Kona, Deckers first pulled off an impressive bike leg, climbing from 25th to 12th, before heatstroke took claim of her race.
“I am so happy I could do a little dance,” exclaims Deckers after one of her recent victories. Adding, “It was brutal. But when you win, that all goes away.”
Her words sum up the type of athlete we know Deckers to be. She is an extremely dedicated competitor who courageously triumphs through her numerous battles.