Club La Santa

Lionel Sanders, Holly Lawrence retain 70.3 Mont Tremblant titles

Chief Correspondent

Classy wins for the defending champions in Canada

Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, was the venue for the 2014 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships. Since then, Lionel Sanders has won the race three times in a row, while Great Britain’s Holly Lawrence has been 2nd / 1st / 1st. One might reasonably suggest that right now, they are pretty warm favourites for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships later this year in Chattanooga.

If you follow Pro racing over the distance, the race reports can be described as ‘template’ performances by both winners. Broadly, even their opponents know what they are going to do… but can they do anything about it? It appears – Alistair Brownlee aside – not.


Bike destruction #1

For Sanders – an impressive winner recently at The Championship in Samorin, Slovakia – the day starts, as do most, by losing around 2:40 in the water to swim leader Antoine Jolicouer Desroches (CAN), with eventual second place finisher, Taylor Reid, just a few seconds further back.

Once on the bike, ‘Colonel’ Sanders lets rip with beast mode and rides a 2:01:53 split (nobody else breaks 2:10…), for a big lead at T2, before adding a 1:14:01 run (just to rub it in, the fastest of the day too), for a crushing margin of over eight minutes.

For Lionel – who was last out of the water at the World Championships at the same venue, three years ago, a 2:40 swim deficit is still a significant sign of progress in his weakest discipline. For his opponents, that is a concern!


Bike destruction #2

And for Lawrence? Well, after a rare loss at the (swim cancelled) Escape from Alcatraz, her total domination of the 70.3 scene continued in familiar fashion. Leading out of the water with ITU regular, Sarah True (USA) on her shoulder, the World Champion then just put herself in another post code once on two wheels. She rode a 2:19:30 bike split, while nobody else broke the 2:25 mark. Game over.

While Lawrence isn’t the ‘fastest’ runner, she plays her cards well and is still very strong on that closing half marathon. With a big lead, she came home to break the tape with a comfortable four minute lead and collect the $10,000 first prize. It is going to take something special to stop Holly adding back-to-back World titles in Chattanooga.

IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant, Canada – Sunday 25th June 2017
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km


1st – Lionel Sanders (CAN) – 3:46:04
2nd -Taylor Reid (CAN) – 3:52:18
3rd – Cody Beals (CAN) – 3:54:26


1st – Holly Lawrence (GBR) – 4:14:24
2nd – Sarah True (USA) – 4:18:21
3rd – Magali Tisseyre (CAN) – 4:19:17

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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