Severe dehydration derailed Lionel Sanders’ attempt for another podium finish at the Ironman World Championship, while injuries waylaid Mirinda Carfrae’s race. Both bounced back in style three weeks after the fact with impressive wins at Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos.
Earlier today Sanders announced that he’s going to be working with David Tilbury-Davis again, the coach he worked with for much of 2017, the year he finished second at the Ironman World Championship. We’ll have more on that story later – but the move certainly seems to have put Sanders back in winning form very quickly after a disappointing day on the Big Island.
Sanders trailed swim leader Tomasz Szala (POL) by almost two minutes out of the water, but screamed through the first 20 km of the bike to move to the front of the men’s race. By the time he was finished the ride he was about six minutes ahead of a group of six that included American Eric Lagerstrom, Szala, Mexico’s Francisco Serrano, Americans Robbie Deckard and Nicholas Chase, along with Kiwi Matt Franklin.
Sanders would open up even more time on the men chasing him, coming across the line almost 10 minutes up on Serrano, with Deckard another 35 seconds behind in third.
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First time racing in Mexico, and it didn’t disappoint! Awesome race, loved every minute of it! Doesn’t cancel out a poor Kona performance but definitely has lit the fire to keep pushing forward! Congrats to @serrano_tri & @robbie_d14 on great performances and to everyone who competed today on a tough course with tough conditions. Gracias, Mexico! 🇲🇽 📸 @talbotcox
In the women’s race, Carfrae certainly appears to have bounced back from the injuries that sidelined her in Kona – she went into that race with a shoulder injury sustained in a bike crash, but was sidelined on race day by an issue with her SI joint, according to media reports after the race. The Australian was second out of the water, trailing Mexico’s Adriano Carreno Cruz by 50 seconds, but quickly taking control of the race on the bike. She would finish the bike with a 43 second lead on Poland’s Ewa Komander, with American Olympia Von Berg over five minutes behind and Cruz over eight minutes down.
One out on the run course Carfrae quickly put the race away, cruising away from the rest of the women to take the win, with Komander hanging on for second and Cruz running her way to the final spot on the podium.
Canada’s Angela Naeth ended up pulling out of the race on the bike.