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Lionel Sanders’ race tactics for the Arena Games revealed

"They are all just faces - I couldn't care who they are, I want to beat them all." 

Photo by: Professional Triathletes Organisation

Lionel Sanders fans will have an opportunity to see the sport’s most popular YouTube personality up close next weekend – the long-distance star is headlining the upcoming Arena Games event in Montreal. While all eyes will be on last year’s Ironman World Championship runner-up, he’s fully aware that he’s in for a big challenge in the sprint event that includes a 200 m swim, 4 km bike on a trainer and a 1 km run on a treadmill.

Related: Lionel Sanders takes on the sprinters at Arena Games Montreal

“I am confident that I will do well on the bike and the run, it will just be whether I have the capacity to overcome a swim deficit,” Sanders said in a pre-race interview. “Even if I swam really well – like personal best – I probably would still be 20 seconds down. Twenty seconds to claw back, that’s a big ask. But I’m excited to see its possible.”

With that swim deficit in mind, Sanders is preparing himself for lots of pain on the bike.

“I plan to bury myself,” Sanders said. “Show me vomit. There is no other tactic than that.”

Related: Arena Games comes to Montreal in 2023

While Sanders appears to be fully aware that his chances of competing with the sprinters are slim, he’s obviously looking forward to the opportunity to compete in the event with its unique format.

“This seems like this is the future of our sport,” he said. “This could be more entertaining than the Olympic triathlon … just because of the venue and how dynamic it is. The sky’s the limit.”

You don’t achieve the success Sanders has without being competitive, though, so it should come as no surprise that he’ll be gunning for the win in Montreal next weekend.

“Who do I want to beat the most? I want to beat everyone the most,” Sanders said. “They are all just faces – I couldn’t care who they are, I want to beat them all.”

You can see the list of men Sanders will take on at the Arena Games Montreal here. Click here to see the women’s start list.