TRI247
Search
shop

Lionel Sanders: I just want to have fun at St George, Kona the ultimate goal

We talk St George and Kona with 'No Limits' and learn why his Oceanside display was even better than it first appeared

Last updated -
SHOP

Looking ahead to the IRONMAN World Championship in St George next weekend, Lionel Sanders said via his YouTube channel that he has around 20 rivals on his radar. On paper, most would argue there are far fewer and that he is one of the most exciting athletes on the start line. 

But speaking exclusively to us at Tri247, the hugely popular Canadian again downplayed his ambitions for next weekend’s Championship.

“I just want to have fun,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to be in peak form in October.”

Advertisement

Oceanside a learning process

The evidence in California at 70.3 Oceanside last month gave a clear indication of current form, especially when he passed Alistair Brownlee and then took part in a thrilling sprint finish with Rudy Von Berg to finish second overall behind Jackson Laundry. 

Lionel Sanders and Rudy Von Berg sprint at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2022 Photo Credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN
IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2022: Lionel Sanders and Rudy Von Berg sprint Photo Credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN

That result was even more impressive when you hear that some things didn’t go quite to plan. He lost his frame bottle early into the bike and the on-course bottles didn’t quite fit his front mounted system, so chose to back off the pace a little. 

The lost bottle contained maple syrup and salt – there may not be a greater nod to being Canadian than sipping maple syrup whilst chasing some of the best triathletes in the world!

Despite that, he said he ‘ticked a box’ when it came to testing his nutrition strategy and he was happy with what he learned. He also indicated that his bike choice, an older version of the Canyon Speedmax without disc brakes and built-in hydration, will be what he rides in Utah.

“Oceanside told me that my form is coming along quite well.

“I learned quite a lot on the bike too. I was testing a bike there that I intend to use at the World Championships and had to iron out a few kinks with regards to nutrition, and I ticked that box.”  

The start at Oceanside may not have gone to plan, but the finish was classic Sanders – exciting, no limits racing resulting in an incredible finish.

“I truly didn’t think I was going to catch anyone coming off the bike, so it was just a cherry on top for things to have played out the way they did.”

More to come

Norwegian hype aside, what’s been the reality of working with new coach Mikal Iden? Should we be expecting to see more from Sanders this year?

Lionel Sanders / Blue Seventy wetsuit
Photo Credit: Talbot Cox

“I was out on a bike ride in Slovakia ahead of the Collins Cup with Gustav [Iden] and Mikal, and Gustav suggested he thought it would be a good fit [for me to work with them]. I thought he was joking at first and joked around about it for a few days after that, but then we ended up sitting down and having a serious conversation about it and I haven’t looked back since.

“The biggest thing that I’ve implemented is regular lactate testing and learning the proper intensities to be training at for long distance. 

“It’s also nice having someone to keep me accountable and write the workouts for me.”

St. George may be just the start. Kona is the real deal.

Helen Gorman
Written by
Helen Gorman
Helen is part of the editorial team at TRI247 after spending ten years as a Press Officer with British Triathlon. She's mostly found at a pool, sometimes breaking world masters records.

THE SBRX Show

In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Sumarpo Vanguard triathlon and swimming wetsuit review – Can it challenge the mainstream tri wetsuit brands?
sea swimming sumarpo triathlon wetsuit
How to get faster at open water swimming – triathlon swim training tips to up your race pace
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Best middle distance triathlon bike courses – from the fastest courses to the most epic scenery
TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles black
TRI-FIT RAPID-X swimming goggles review – A contender for the best swim goggles for pool and open water?
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Five reasons to race Challenge St. Pölten – kickstart your race season with this scenic middle distance triathlon
latest News
Jonny Brownlee WTCS Yokohama 2023 run
More questions than answers as Britain’s Olympic triathlon puzzle heads for Cagliari conclusion
Dorian Coninx Paris Test Event 2023 [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes]
Triathlon World Champion’s Olympic hopes hang in the balance after WTCS Yokohama bike crash
Men's podium at the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships
The Championship: Our analysis and predictions for the professional races in Šamorín
Mathis Margirier wins the Challenge Championship in Samorin 2023 [Photo credit: Activimages / Challenge Family]
The Championship History: What makes the racing in Šamorín so special?
Taylor Knibb Trek-Segafredo
Terrific Taylor Knibb secures national title and Olympic berth just days after WTCS Yokohama
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
Share to...