Lionel Sanders claimed his second win of 2017 with a smashing time of 3:42:47 at Ironman 70.3 Buenos Aires. In the non-wetsuit swim, Sanders proved he’s made improvements in the water, coming out with a smaller-than-usual 3:16 deficit but following up with race-best splits of 1:59:27 and 1:13:10 on the bike and run.
Sanders came out of the water behind a strung out lead group of men that included USA’s Rodolphe Von Berg and Brazilians Marcus Fernandes, Igor Amorelli, Reinaldo Colucci and then further back, Leon Griffin (AUS), Ben Hoffman (USA), Eneko Llanos (ESP), Guilherme Manocchio (BRA) and Santiago Ascenco (ARG). Halfway through the bike leg, he had taken the lead and by 60 km in, had a comfortable gap of nearly two minutes on Von Berg, who was sitting in second. Sanders and Amorelli entered T2 together with just over three minutes on Amorelli but Sanders continued to grow his lead on the run and finished with a 3:28 margin of victory.
“I came to Buenos Aires to face the tough swim conditions for a weaker swimmer: non wetsuit and fresh water,” Sanders told TMC after the race. “I am happy with how that turned out. I came out 1.5mins back of guys who consistently make the front pack in Kona. I also came here since I knew the bike course was quite technical. I managed okay with regards to that as well. In order to strengthen your weaknesses you must put yourself in situations that enable you to improve upon them.”
The Windsor-native has spoken about his love for racing in South America — particularly the large local crowds of spectators that create an exciting race atmopshere for all the athletes. Sanders did some press for local news outlets before the race, including an appearance on ESPN Argentina.
On the women’s side, American Haley Chura took the win followed by Kimberly Morrison (GBR) and Ariane Monticelli (ARG).
Full results available here.