In likely one of the most anticipated showdowns of 2018, Lionel Sanders got the battle he wanted with two-time Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside this morning but failed to catch the German, ultimately finishing second to the two-time world champ. Frodo led from start to finish with a race-best bike split, bettering Sanders by 22 seconds and a blistering 1:10 half marathon to open his 2018 season with a win and prove he’s still the best in a world class field.
It was the much awaited showdown … Frodeno just another level. Your 2018 Oceanside 70.3 Champion @janfrodeno 📸 @talbotcox • #BahrainEndurance13 #BE13strong #Protriathlonteam #Champions #Endurance #Triathlon #Ironman #swimbikerun #TriLife #Lifestyle #Pathways #Gold_Only #Leaders #Bahrain #BurningforKona 🔥#WTS #TriMixedRelay #TripleCrown
Last year, Sanders had been vocal about his disappointment when Frodeno had to pull out of the Oceanside race early with bike issues as the Canadian loves a good battle with the best of the best. The German star was simply on another level today with an overall finishing time of 3:45, coming in over two minutes ahead of a charging Sanders. Though Sanders had a good swim, coming out of the water seventh in the men’s field, it wasn’t enough to catch Frodo on the bike or hang on for the run.
What a day… When some of the best are racing you can just never ease up, especially when @lsanderstri is on the hunt. Sharing the podium with another world champ @timbo_reed makes champagne taste like the best drink ever;) Thanks to those who continue to believe and of course all the volunteers and crazy fans along the course!! #Frodissimo
No other athlete has inspired me more or pushed me to become a better version of myself than @janfrodeno . In Oceanside 2015, I got a schooling. I came back in 2018 as a significantly better and more well rounded athlete and got a schooling again. Congrats, Jan, on an amazing performance. Thanks to everyone for cheering and following along…back to the grind I go. #nolimits 📸@talbotcox
The 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Tim Reed, took third behind Frodeno and Sanders in the men’s field — not a surprise as the Australian was pegged as a podium favourite heading into the race today and is consistently one of the best swimmers and runners in the field.
On the women’s side, it was another German winner in riding star Anne Haug who has been demolishing every 70/3 race she enters with exceptional run splits. Defending champion Holly Lawrence took second.
Full results here. Check back for comments from the winners and Sanders later this weekend.