Lionel Sanders refused to lose, passing Sebastian Kienle in the closing stages of the race to take the Challenge Championship in Samorin, Slovakia.
June 3, 2018 | NEWS|
There was simply no stopping Lionel Sanders (CAN) as he powered his way past a determined Sebastian Kienle (GER) to successfully defend his Championship title in Samorin. The Canadian needed a 1:10 run to catch his German rival, taking the lead with less than 3 km to go.
Varga leads out of the water, Angert off the bike
Slovakian swim star led the way out of the Danube in the non-wetsuit-for-pros swim (the water temperature was 22.5 C) in 24:42, with Germany's Florian Angert leading the chase 40 seconds back. Kienle managed to get out of the water well ahead of Sanders, finishing the swim in 27:34 to Sanders' 29:05.
Once out on the bike the men flew through the initial stages of the ride enjoying a major tailwind, which saw German Maurice Clavel surge to the front, but eventually it was Angert who would lead the charge into T2, finishing the bike with a lead of about two minutes on Kienle. Sanders managed to put himself into contention thanks to the day's fastest bike ride, but still found himself about a minute behind Kienle starting the run.
Kienle would eventually get past Angert to take the lead and through the first half of the run managed to hold Sanders off, enjoying a 23 second lead heading into the last 10 km of the run. Kienle managed to hold the gap for a while, but eventually Sanders would make the pass at 18 km. Kienle gamely jumped on Sanders' heels and repassed the Canadian, but wasn't able to maintain the pace and Sanders made his second move, pulling clear and holding on for the win. Angert managed to hold off the rest of the competition to round out the podium.
Challenge Championship | Men
June 3, 2018 | Samorin, Slovakia