On March 27th, following a hard 4,000-yard swim, Lionel Sanders smashed the record time up Kitt Peak by three minutes. The former record on Strava of 42:12 was held by Keegan Swirbul, a 23-year-old professional cyclist for Floyd’s Pro Cycling. In preparation for Ironman 70.3 Oceanside – less than two weeks away – Sanders rode up Kitt Peak in 39:11, averaging over 410 watts.
Kitt Peak is just outside up Tucson, Arizona, and is a great location to do long sustained efforts. Averaging six per cent for 15K, Kitt Peak gains over 900m of elevation.
Less than two weeks from Sanders’ 2019 season debut, his effort up Kitt Peak suggests he’s ready to contend with some of the best 70.3 athletes in Oceanside, California. Unfortunately, there will be no Frodo-Sanders showdown at this year’s edition of the race. Jan Frodeno’s name is yet to be seen on the start list. That said, Sanders will have to go against Ben Kanute (USA), Eric Lagerstrom (USA), Tim Reed (AUS) and Sam Appleton (AUS), all world-class talent.
In December (2018), Sanders took another KOM in Palm Springs, California called the Tramway. Two weeks later, Phil Gaimon, a former professional cyclist. lowered the record time by a minute.
It remains to be seen if Gaimon comes for Sanders’ time up Kitt Peak.