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Leon Chevalier gives kudos to Kienle in IRONMAN Cozumel win recap

Leon Chevalier recaps his win at IRONMAN Cozumel with a shoutout to Sebastian Kienle.

Staff Reporter
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Redefining triathlon

Frenchman Leon Chevalier capped off an incredible season with a win and Kona qualification at IRONMAN Cozumel last weekend.

The Bath based professional, racing in his fifth season as a pro, has excelled this year, with wins in South Africa and Cozumel over the full distance and IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables D’Olonne.

Winning comfortably ahead of Chris Leiferman and Robert Wilkowiecki, Chevalier credited triathlon legend Sebastian Kienle for his fourth place finish in the German’s final race before retirement.

“What a way to end the season!”

Just 259 days after starting his season with a win, Chevalier took the tape in his final race of the year after a mentally refreshing training block leading into race day.

ST GEORGE, UTAH - MAY 07: Leon Chevalier of France celebrates as he finishes during the 2021 IRONMAN World Championships on May 07, 2022 in St George, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN

“Ironman Cozumel…what a way to end the season! We went into this race with a different approach, @cheethamcoaching giving me free rein with my training — the goal was to carry the fitness I’ve worked so hard for all year but with a little less structure.

“I was determined to fully enjoy the build up and never turn down an opportunity to walk Poppy down to the pub with @florie_betts!”

Sharing his happiness that the plan paid dividends, the Frenchman also ticked off a number of accomplishments within the race.

“I’m so happy to get another win this year, to have qualified for Kona, to have ridden under 4 hours, and had another solid run!”

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“Sebi showed he’s still got it”

After the swim was cancelled in Cozumel, the race was changed to a bike-run duathlon, with athlete’s set off in a staggered start. Out on to the bike, Chevalier was quickly joined by Kienle and the pair got to work.

Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade

On the bike I was quickly joined by @sebastiankienle and we rode hard, hard, hard until finally we managed to grow the gap to the chasers. Then I was focused on keeping the pressure on and going under 4 hours as I was still averaging over 46 kph two thirds into the bike.

“The final kilometres dragged on, and despite the 182 km course I still came into T2 under that mark and with a solid lead.”

Having run his way to victory with a superb marathon split, the PTO World #9 congratulated the rest of the podium and gave a special shoutout to bike partner Kienle for a top performance.

“Congratulations to everyone who smashed it on the day, in particular @chris_leiferman and @robert.wilkowiecki who also got their Kona slots, and to Sebi who showed he’s still got it in his last pro triathlon ever.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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