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The 24th annual St. Croix Ironman title was won by American Andy Potts, overcoming a late challenge for the lead by seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong.

From the outset,the men’s race was a three-person contest. Potts took an early lead during the 1.2-mile swim around Christiansted harbor, finishing the course in 24:29, with Stephane Poulat of France only two seconds behind him.

Lance Armstrong finished the swim in seventh position with a time of 25:51. Cycling was obviously his strongest event, and everybody seemed certain he would make up time in the next phase of the competition.

They were right, and as Armstrong flew down Hospital Street toward the transition area with no one behind him, his superb ride had given him a 2 minute lead.

As Armstrong finished his first of two laps, he still held a one-minute lead, bringing expectations that he could win his first professional Ironman race.

However, Potts and Poulat proved too quick down the stretch, and in the last 5 miles, Potts pulled ahead of Armstrong and took a commanding lead.

He took the title with a time of 4:03:31, with Poulat finishing second with a time of 4:05:25 and Armstrong taking third at 4:07:08.