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Sanders kicks off 2018 season opener with win and course record in Chile

The ITU world champion also takes 12 minutes off his time from the race last year

Lionel Sanders claimed his first win of the year at Ironman 70.3 Pucon yesterday with a course record time of 3:48:44. It was the 29-year-old’s first race since his three-peat victory at Ironman Arizona in November, and the second year in a row of him racing at the Chile event, which he says is one of his favourites.

Sanders clocked  26:51 swim, 2:01:16 bike and 1:16:25 run for his win this year. Last year, his winning splits were 28:20, 2:09:23 and 1:16:38 for a total time of 4:00:08.

Joining Sanders on the podium yesterday were Mexican Mauricio Mendez Cruz (2nd) and local pro Felipe Barraza (3rd).

On the women’s side, Olympian Barbara Riveros took the win followed by Ellie Salthouse and Valentina Carvallo.