In a sport where typically a group of favourites is expected to win, there aren’t many upsets. That said, in 2018 there were a few surprises that caught our eye.

Related: The 10 best performances of 2018

After one of the most impressive triathlon performances in history, Jan Frodeno was sidelined by a stress fracture for the remainder for the 2018 season.

Not necessarily an upset, but definitely a disappointment, this year’s Ironman World Championship was missing Jan Frodeno (GER). In the middle of a dominating season, Frodeno had one of the most impressive triathlon performances ever at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. A week later, Frodeno discovered he had a sacral stress fracture – forcing him to withdraw from the Ironman World Championship.

Related: The top news-making stories of 2018

Here are three of biggest upsets of 2018 – where an underdog took down a giant.

Cody Beals wins in Ironman debut

Cody Beals tops Lionel Sanders at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

Heading into Ironman Mont-Tremblant, everyone’s eyes were on Lionel Sanders, the 2017 runner-up at the Ironman World Championship. Although Ironman Mont-Tremblant wasn’t Sanders’ main objective, many had the Canadian as the pre-race favourite.

Related: The best of 2018: Canadian performances

But it would be another Canadian that would steal the show in Mont-Tremblant. In his Ironman debut, Cody Beals won Ironman Mont-Tremblant – setting the bike and overall course record.

Daniela Saemmler tops Lucy Charles at Challenge Roth

Daniela Saemmler tops Lucy Charles by just nine seconds.

While Daniela Ryf (SUI) raced at the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany, Lucy Charles (GBR) raced Challenge Roth. Considered the favourite heading into the weekend, Charles had a thrilling race with Germany’s Daniela Saemmler. The two would be neck and neck for most of the run, with Saemmler passing Charles with 5K to go.

Sodaro wins Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells in her debut race 

A regular on the International Triathlon Union World Cup and CAMTRI circuit for the past two years, Chelsea Sodaro (USA) did her first Ironman 70.3 race on Dec. 9th in Indian Wells, California. Up against a number of the world’s top long course triathletes, Sodaro beat them all. The American finished three minutes ahead of Haley Chura (USA) and six minutes ahead of Carrie Lester (AUS).

 

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