Saturday in Kona, Canadian Lionel Sanders covered the Iroman world championship bike course in what would’ve been a new record had Australian Cameron Wurf not also eclipsed the previous mark with his bike leg on the day. Sanders set the second fastest time ever riding the out and back 180 km course along the Pacific ocean in 4:14:19 averaging 42.5 km/h. The great performance launched him into contention for the overall win.
Despite the amazing ride, the Harrow, Ont. native was unable to hold off charging German star Patrick Lange on the run. Sanders eventually finisher in a time of 8:04:07 to Lange’s 8:01:39.
The course record was set on the day by Cameron Wurf of Australia who averaged 42.76 km/h for a time of 4:12:54 in Kona. Wurf has ridden at the WorldTour level with Cannondale in 2013 and 2014. He ended the race in 17th.
Sanders is a strong rider often setting himself up for wins by riding through the entire field after the swim.
His power data has also been revealed for past rides by TrainingPeaks. “In 2016 he averaged 352 watts for a bike split of 2:07:47 while in 2017 he averaged 354 watts for a 2:05:42. On roughly the same power he took more than two minutes off his split,” read an article about his power data from Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. “This could be due to weather, but when we break down the course we can see that the majority of it is due to the bike position changes.”
Sanders rode nearly 14 minutes faster than Lange in Kona on Saturday but it was not enough to hold off the man who holds the course record for the run in Kona.