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Sanders opens season with win at Ironman 70.3 Pucon

Sanders takes Ironman 70.3 Pucon in 4:00:07.

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Lionel Sanders won his season opener race on Sunday at Ironman 70.3 Pucon in Chile, taking the win in 4:00:07 with almost¬†six minutes on the runner-up. Sanders proved he has made major gain in the swim recently, coming out of the water in 28:20 right around a lead chase pack that included American Jesse Thomas. He demolished the bike in 2:09:23 and followed it up with a 1:16:37 half marathon — both splits were the fastest of the day in the men’s pro field.¬†This was the first 70.3 race for a Canadian pro in 2017 and the start of a season focused on the half distance for Sanders.

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There was a huge crowd cheering athletes down the finishing chute at the race yesterday, as seen in the video above.

“Had a fantastic time in this beautiful town, Pucon,” Sanders said on social media after the race. “What a great event! Te amo Chile!”

On the women’s side, ITU star Barbara Riveros, the favourite heading into the race, won with a time of 4:32:08. She was followed by Alicia Kaye in second.

Top 5 men’s results

Sanders, Lionel CAN 1 1 00:28:20 02:09:23 01:16:37 04:00:07
Barraza, Felipe CHL 2 2 00:25:14 02:13:43 01:21:27 04:06:04
Taccone, Luciano ARG 3 3 00:26:15 02:15:12 01:18:47 04:06:09
Van de Wyngard, Felipe CHL 4 4 00:25:21 02:11:35 01:26:25 04:09:34
Thomas, Jesse USA 5 5 00:28:17 02:15:24 01:23:02 04:13:14

Top 5 women’s results

RIVEROS, BARBARA CHL 1 16 00:27:06 02:35:08 04:32:08 04:32:08
Kaye, Alicia USA 2 17 00:27:04 02:28:11 04:32:38 04:32:38
Chura, Haley USA 3 37 00:26:49 02:35:07 04:42:42 04:42:42
Palacio, Romina ARG 4 77 00:28:39 02:45:45 04:57:00 04:57:00
Tastets, Pamela CHL 5 87 00:32:23 02:40:55 04:58:43 04:58:43