IM 70.3 Indian Wells: Lionel Sanders gives triathlon lessons to short distance specialists, Danielle Lewis wins women’s race

Lionel Sanders. (Picture: Instagram Sanders)

It was a battle between short distance specialists and long distance specialists and during Ironman 70.3 Wells Lionel Sanders showed that you should certainly not write off the latter category. The Canadian ran away from Frenchman Vincent Luis in a direct duel and won the race with remarkable skill. In the women’s race, the victory went to a strong racing Danielle Lewis.

In the men’s race, it was Luis who set the fastest swimming time and when he did run to his bike after just over 22 minutes, he was already a minute ahead of his first pursuers. That group included the Belgian Jelle Geens, who was enjoying his debut at the Middle Distance. During the swim, Sanders – as always – lost a lot of time and came out of the water in seventeenth place, more than three minutes behind.

On the bike, Sanders – also as almost always – immediately proved to be strong and he immediately started to ride to the front of the field. One athlete after another was overtaken and eventually – after a bike time of just over two hour – he returned to T2 together with Vincent Luis. The Frenchman appeared to have been hit by a car while biking, but he was able to continue his race.

During the run, it was mainly exciting between the fastest two men; Sanders and Luis. Just under ten kilometers, both guys ran side by side, but then it was, somewhat surprisingly, Sanders who ran away from the Frenchman. From that point on, his lead only increased. Sanders’ splits were therefore very impressive when he crossed the line first after 3:38:19. He swam 25:07 minutes, biked 2:00:26 and ran 1:09:19. Luis eventually crossed the line 2:48 minutes behind Sanders and finished second. Geens, who ran a 1:08:18 to make up many positions, finished third at 4:11 minutes from Sanders.

The women’s race was won by Danielle Lewis (4:14:02). Tamara Jewett got second (+00:57). Ali Brauer finished third (+5:27)