Lionel Sanders returned to his winning ways with an impressive win over Sebastian Kienle at the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship in St. George.
May 5, 2018 | NEWS|
Until the run it was, as Yogi Berra would have said, "deja vu all over again" at Ironman 70.3 St. George for triathlon fans who watched Lionel Sanders (CAN) and Sebastian Kienle (GER) duel at the Challenge Championship last year. Sanders took back the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship he'd lost to Alistair Brownlee last year thanks to an impressive run that got him clear of his German rival.
Appleton leads out of the water
Sam Appleton (AUS) managed to come out of the water about 11 seconds ahead of a group of five, but the big players in the race would trail by 2:11 (Sanders) and 2:13 (Kienle). Those two started their drive for the front of the race as soon as they were on land and, by 43 km, were 35 seconds (Kienle) and 40 seconds (Sanders) behind Appleton, with France's Antony Costes trying to hang on the Canadian/ German express.
Another 20 km later and the two were out in front with Appleton 20 seconds down and everyone else in the field out of the picture. By T2 the lead was up to 2:08 on Appleton after the pair's 2:01 bike split. (For everyone else on the planet St. George is a challenging bike course - although Michael Weiss did manage a 2:02:31 to move himself into contention.)
It didn't take long, though, for Sanders to put his stamp on the race thanks to a blistering run. By 4 km he was 17 seconds up on Kienle, a lead he padded to 1:20 by the finish line. Weiss ran his way to third, finishing 2:10 down after an impressive 1:10:41 run split.
While Sanders wasn't facing either of the two men who have beaten him over the half-distance at major events over the last couple of years (Alistair Brownlee in St. George last year and Jan Frodeno in Oceanside last month), his 3:41:11 split was about 45 seconds faster than Brownlee's winning time in 2017.
Now we get to look forward to watching all this again in a few weeks in Samorin.
Ironman 70.3 St. George | Men
May 5, 2018 | St. George, USA.
1.9 km Swim
90 km Bike
21 km Run