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Riveros and Sanders take the first race of the year in Chile

IRONMAN 70.3 Pucon

ironman media/IRONMAN 70.3 Pucon Photos: R Little/FinisherPix.com

Lionel Sanders, who emerged from the depths of a cold Canadian winter to defend his IRONMAN 70.3 Pucon win of 2017 started his day off with a 1.9 km swim that saw him exit the water in 10th, facing a 3:10 deficit to the leader. Once on the bike, Sanders was in his element and there was absolutely no one capable of even coming close to matching his pace.

Before a quarter of the bike had been completed, Sanders managed to power his way into the lead and went on to clock a race-best bike split 2:01:16 (10 minutes faster than anyone in the field). Sanders’ prowess on the bike resulted in a chase pack of eight men dismounting their bikes ranging from 9:36 to 10:02 after the speedy Canuck.

Early in the run, four men were running shoulder to shoulder in a battle for second that included Xterra stand-out Maurico Cruz (MEX), Felipe Barrazza (CHL), Rei Colucci (BRA) and Marcus Fernandes (BRA). Meanwhile, Sanders was 2 to 3 km’s up the road basking in the knowledge he had a huge buffer to those in hunting him down (as well as an knock-out run in his hip pocket if need be). There would be no drama for the defending champion throughout the run as he notched another win at the half distance in a course record time of 3:48:44.

Barbara Riveros (CHL) and Ellie Salthouse (AUS) played me-and-my-shadow for the entire swim and bike legs of the race. After dismounting their bikes together well ahead of the other women, the race was going to come down to who had the better leg speed on the day, Riveros or Salthouse.

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Riveros flew through the transition and carried a 22-second lead heading out onto the run. From there it was evident that Riveros was having the better day on course as her run pace was over 30-seconds faster per km for much of the run on all of her competition. Riveros’ stellar run would score her a fourth consecutive win in front of a supportive home crowd.

Top 5 Pro Men

1 Sanders, Lionel CAN 3:48:44
2 Cruz, Mauriicio Mendez MEX 3:56:50
3 Barraza, Felipe CHL 3:58:58
4 Colucci, Rei BRA 3:59:56
5 Ascenco, Santiago BRA 4:00:18

Top 5 Pro Women

1 Riveros, Barbara CHL 4:18:59
2 Salthouse, Ellie AUS 4:28:09
3 Carvallo, Valentina CHL 4:41:44
4 Bruna, Mahn BRA 4:46:05
5 Donavan, Jessie USA 4:51:06

Originally from: http://asia.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2018/01/the-monday-round-up-1.15.aspx#ixzz54KpPtXSU

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