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Clément Mignon produced an outstanding performance to take bronze at the Ironman North American Championship

Clément Mignon secured 3rd place at the Ironman North American Championship in Texas after a very strong performance on the bike and run. The BMC athlete posted a finishing time of 7:48:37 to claim the final podium spot and to secure his Kona qualification for later this year. His teammate Chris Leiferman had a solid day, going sub-8 as well in a time of 7:58:53 finishing 8th. It was the surprising Tomas Rodriguez Hernandez (MEX; 7:42:38) breaking the tape, with double Ironman World champion Patrick Lange (GER; 7:44:14) coming home in second.

Feeling disappointed after his 15th place in T100 Singapore, Clément Mignon wanted to bounce back with a strong performance in Texas. Unfortunately, a difficult swim didn’t help those ambitions. Clément exited the water in 25th place, about 3’30 back to the leaders. Keeping his head up, Mignon immediately started the bike at a great pace. After ticking off the first hour with an average of 43k/h, the Frenchman had climbed his way up to 16th place and trailed the second chase group by only 30 seconds. 20k later, he didn’t only close that gap. He also made several passes, took the front of the that group, broke away and opened up a gap of 1 minute. Halfway through the bike, Clément had a solid grip on 5th place, 4’20 behind the four leaders. On the second half of the bike, Mignon kept his pace high, but also tried to save energy. He did lose time towards the front of the race, but managed to move up another two spots to reach T2 solo in 3rd place. The French athlete took off for the marathon with a 8’20 deficit to the leader. In the first 11k, he managed to claw back a minute of that gap, but the danger came from behind. At the halfway point of the run, Clément had to settle for 4th place and another 6k later, Lange pushed him back to 5th. Those moves didn’t bother the BMC athlete as he knew there was still a lot of kilometers left in the hot and humid conditions of Texas. Mignon kept his pace high and started to inch closer to the athletes in front of him. Having saved enough energy for the final part of the race, Clément moved up to 4th place at the 36k mark, but he wanted more. The Frenchman went after Marquardt in third and made the pass for the final podium spot with 4k to go. Mignon ran it home, crossing the finish line in a fantastic time of 7:48:37. With his excellent well-paced performance today, Clément secured his Kona slot for later this year.

Already looking forward to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

After the race, Clément Mignon reflected on his performance and already looked forward to the races ahead. “It was a very tough day today. I didn’t have a great start of the race with a bad swim. From that point on, it was a long day alone on the bike and on the run. That’s what made today a really tough day. So, I am very happy to take 3rd place. I was running in 5th place at the beginning of the last loop, so I am joyful to make it to the line in third. Bike courses which are more rolling suit me better as today was a flat one. But I see today as a good effort towards the future. The next races will probably be IM70.3 Sables D’Olonne and IM Frankfurt as those were my first pro races a few years ago. Now that I am qualified for Kona, I am already looking forward to it as the hillier course will suit me.”

Clément Mignons teammate Chris Leiferman threw down a sub-8 performance as well. Just like Clément, Chris had some work to do after the swim. He didn’t rush into things early on the bike, allowing himself to find the correct pace. At the halfway mark on the bike, Chris moved from 30th to 17th place. From that point onwards, Leiferman really pushed the watts to move his way towards the front. With 25k to go towards T2, he bridged the gap towards top 6. Holding on to that 6th place, the American tried to catch up with the athletes in front of him in the first half of the run. In the back half of the marathon, Chris wasn’t able to keep up that high pace. He kept giving his all to cross the finish line in 8th place, posting a 7:58:53 finish time.

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