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Lionel Sanders set for triathlon return after being announced on start list for event he loves

The Canadian, who has been dealing with a bone stress injury in his ribs, has been named on the start list for IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant next weekend.

Staff Reporter
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PTO World #23 Lionel Sanders has been tipped to make his racing return next weekend, after the Canadian was announced as the #1 seed on the start list for IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant.

The Windsor native, who has only raced once so far this season, suffered a stress fracture in his rib six weeks ago and was forced to miss the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship in St. George.

Targeting Kona success in 2024, the 36-year-old father has his sights set on going one better than 2017, when he finished second behind two-time IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange.

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Can he make it six?

Having won the IRONMAN 70.3 title in Mont-Tremblant on five separate occasions, with his last victory coming back in 2022, Sanders will be the heavy favourite if he lines up next weekend.

lionel sanders wins oceanside 2024 [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]
Lionel Sanders takes the victory [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]

Starting alongside ‘No Limits’ will be fellow Canadians Jackson Laundry and Cody Beals, plus American powerhouses such as Chris Leiferman and emerging talent Matthew Marquardt.

Training partner Trevor Foley, who recently won IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder, is also racing, with Ben Kanute, the 2016 Olympian who is contracted to the T100 Tour this season, set to race his first IRONMAN 70.3 event of the year.

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“Still not 100%”

Despite being named on the start list, the reason it remains unclear whether or not Sanders will race is due to the fact that the former World Triathlon long distance champion has not confirmed yet if he will be making the trip to Ontario.

Sam Long Lionel Sanders IRONMAN 703 Gulf Coast 2023 finish line [Photo credit: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images for IRONMAN]
[Photo credit: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

In his most recent Instagram post on @lsanderstri he provided a cryptic summary of his current fitness, stating that whilst things are trending in the right direction, there is room to improve.

“Last week I logged one of my biggest weeks of training in a while. Grateful to be back training-rib still not 100% but it’s close enough to get back grinding. It is imperative that I prioritize recovery to keep things on track.”

After taking down Sam Long in his sole race of the year so far to win IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, there is a lot of expectation on the Canadian’s shoulders in 2024. When he decides the time is right to race again, expect a big performance.

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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