Lionel Sanders says the mood in his camp was one of disappointment following his second place at IRONMAN 70.3 Michigan, but that wasn’t a sentiment he agreed with.
Instead ‘No Limits’ believes his defeat by fellow Canadian Jackson Laundry in a thriller in Frankfort was simply yet another sign of how the sport of pro triathlon is evolving.
Performances that a few years ago might have yielded a win for the 35-year-old from Windsor, are no longer quite good enough. But Sanders, instead of being dispirited, is motivated by the challenge as he moves onto what for him already counts as 2024.
Lionel Sanders on tri evolution
Speaking in his regular post-race debrief on YouTube (watch the full version below), said: “The game is now very different, than let’s say when we did Steelhead – another Michigan race – in 2014 where you swim two minutes down, you ride 1:58 and then you run a 1:09, you’re probably gonna win.
“I mean unfortunately, the game has greatly evolved since then and you’ve got guys who five or six years ago, the top five guys these were all Ws in this level of a race. First place here was I think $4,000, and they were even bigger prize purses back then.
“But the game has evolved, I mean to cut your teeth in this game now is hard. You’ve got really good guys finishing fifth through eighth. The problem is you’ve got guys like myself trying to get up to the world level. And so the level of these races is very high. I had a really good race, Jackson had a better race.
“Am I disappointed? I don’t think the sentiment should be disappointment, the sentiment should be ‘that’s where you are, this is where you are, you’ve got places to improve’.
“I think it’s not disappointment, should be actually motivated, like things are moving in the right direction, the season is young. I know I keep saying that, it’s 2024 though right, nobody got the memo, it’s 2024.
“We’re getting ready for 2024 here, the season is young, this is the first race of the season.”
Next stop Augusta, and Laundry again
For now, Lionel is on to Georgia and specifically Augusta for another 70.3 showdown with Laundry this weekend, and he is itching for the chance to avenge that Frankfort defeat.
“I am very motivated and I’ve drank a gallon of chocolate milk, I’ve drank Coca Cola, I’m gonna be hitting the orange juice and apple juice and I gonna go get a burger, and I’m gonna recover like I’ve never recovered before.
“And I’m gonna come in there firing on all cylinders and Jackson Laundry you better be ready pal, you better be doing the same my boy. Because I have vengeance in my heart now.”