On Dec. 9th, Lionel Sanders (CAN) made his return to racing at the Ironman 70.3 event in Indian Wells/La Quinta, California.

Related: Lionel Sanders talks about a disappointing Kona finish

Heading into the race, much of the talk surrounding the event was about Sanders’s new Canyon Speedmax. Earlier this fall, Sanders publically announced he had signed with Canyon USA. Despite the change in bike sponsorship, Sanders is still committed to Louis Garneau. The Canadian bike company will be providing Sanders with apparel (bike shoes, helmet and clothing).

Related: Lionel Sanders is now on a Canyon Speedmax

Up against a respectable field, Sanders used his bike/run split to take the win at Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells/La Quinta. Joe Gambles of Longmont, Colorado, went head-to-head with Sanders for much of the race, but Sanders managed to create a gap and take the win by over two minutes. Kenneth Peterson of Boulder, Colorado, finished third.

The women’s race was won by Chelsea Sodaro (USA). She was followed by Haley Chura (USA), three minutes back, and Carrie Lester (AUS), six minutes back.

Holly Lawrence’s comeback win in Bahrain

In her comeback race, Holly Lawrence (GBR) won the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship. After setting the fastest swim and bike of the day, Lawrence was able to hold onto her first-place position as Sarah Lewis (GBR) made a late charge in the 21.1K run.

Lewis finished less than a minute back of Lawrence, and Ellie Salthouse (AUS) finished third, seven minutes behind Lawrence.

Blummenfelt, Iden and Stornes sweep Ironman 70.3 event in Bahrain

On Dec. 8th, Norwegians Kristian Blummenfelt, Gustav Iden and Casper Stornes dominated the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship in Manama, Bahrain.

The three came out of the water near each other and quickly went to work on the bike. All three set sub two-hour 90K bike splits, with Stornes posting the fastest (1:56:31).

On the run, it was Blummenfelt who got a gap on the others and ran a 1:06:57 half marathon to win the 70.3 Middle East Championship. Iden finished second, just 21 seconds behind. Stornes finished third, four and a half minutes behind Blummenfelt.

Related: Blummenfelt’s new 70.3 world best time

Blummenfelt finished in a time of 3:29:04, a new world best.

Taylor Reid just misses the podium in Florida 

On Dec.9th, in Daytona Beach, Florida, Taylor Reid (CAN) on a shortened course due to weather, posted one of the fastest runs of the day to challenge for a podium placing. Despite the effort, Reid finished in fourth –  two minutes off of the podium.

The professional men’s race was won by Pieter Heemeryck (GER) and was followed by Andrew Starykowicz (USA) and Santiago Ascenco (BRA). The women’s race was won by Sarah Haskins (USA) and was followed by Alicia Kaye (USA) and Meredith Kessler (USA).

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