Beals and Blatchford blast to big wins in Mont-Tremblant

At Ironman Mont-Tremblant, Cody Beals pulled off a big upset to take the men's race over Lionel Sanders, while Liz Blatchford ran her way to a Kona-qualifying win.

| August 20, 2018 | NEWS

Cody Beals on the picturesque run course at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

Cody Beals on the picturesque run course at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Cody Beals made his full-distance debut in style, capturing a record-setting win over Canadian star Lionel Sanders to become the first Canadian to win the men's race here in the picturesque ski-resort of Mont-Tremblant in Quebec.

Brandon leads the swim and bike

After the race was delayed an hour due to fog, American Lauren Brandon led the way out of the water and off the bike, just as she's done in so many other races over the years. She was followed out to the new swim exit a few minutes later by Australian Liz Blatchford and American Meredith Kessler - those three would be the ones battling for the podium positions throughout the rest of the day.

Brandon put together an extremely strong ride, which put Kessler and Blatchford well behind off the bike - Brandon hit the marathon 5:20 up on the pair. Out of T2, Blatchford seemed to struggle and was a minute behind Kessler a few hundred meters into the marathon.

Out on the run, Kessler was able to catch, and move ahead of, Brandon by the halfway point of the marathon. Brandon stayed close, though, putting some added pressure on the 11-time Ironman champion.

Blatchford had continued to lose time through the first half of the run, but found another gear over the last 10 km to pass both Americans and run her way to the title and another shot in Kona, where she's finished third on two different occasions. Kessler really started to struggle towards the end of the marathon, which opened the door for Brandon to move up to the second spot on the podium.

Beals rocks his rookie race

Cody Beals is renowned for his half-distance racing, but, in Mont-Tremblant, he proved that he'll be a competitive full-distance racer, too, thanks to an upset win over Sanders. In fact, its the first time Beals has ever beaten Sanders in the eight times they've raced against each other.

Canadian Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches enjoyed a sizeable lead out of the water, followed by Beals and Australian Joe Gambles. Jolicoeur Desroches stayed in front until 66 km, where he was passed by Beals, who then proceeded to blast through the rest of the race. Starting the run Beals enjoyed a 6:38 lead on Sanders, with Jolicoeur Desroches hanging on for third.

Out on the run course it looked like Sanders might finally do the expected and run his way to the title. But instead of charging to the front, last year's Kona runner-up struggled and would lose more time to Beals on the marathon as the full-distance rookie flew through the run to set a new course record. Sanders would arrive at the finish line 13:24 behind.

American Matt Russell continued his impressive comeback after his brutal crash on race day in Kona last year by running his way to third and guaranteeing himself a spot in Kona this year if he decides to take it.

Ironman Mont-Tremblant | Men

August 19, 2018 | Mont-Tremblant, Canada

Name

Country

Overall

3.8 km Swim

180 km Bike

42.2 km Run

1

Cody Beals

CAN

8:10:36

0:52:35

4:24:28

2:49:22

2

Lionel Sanders

CAN

8:24:01

0:55:07

4:28:33

2:55:50

3

Matt Russell

USA

8:25:14

0:57:58

4:30:37

2:52:24

4

Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches

CAN

8:28:40

0:50:10

4:35:18

2:58:51

5

Cedric Boily

CAN

8:31:26

0:51:48

4:36:13

2:57:03

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Lauren Brandon (l), Liz Blatchford and Meredith Kessler celebrate on the podium at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

Lauren Brandon (l), Liz Blatchford and Meredith Kessler celebrate on the podium at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Ironman Mont-Tremblant | Women

August 19, 2018 | Mont-Tremblant, Canada

Name

Country

Overall

3.8 km Swim

180 km Bike

42.2 km Run

1

Liz Blatchford

AUS

9:16:45

0:53:56

5:02:54

3:13:32

2

Lauren Brandon

USA

9:18:02

0:50:41

5:01:45

3:20:44

3

Meredith Kessler

USA

9:23:09

0:53:54

5:03:03

3:20:57

4

Meredith Hill

AUS

9:37:04

1:02:14

5:03:06

3:25:30

5

Valerie Belanger

CAN

9:53:33

1:17:32

5:00:37

3:27:18

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