Lionel Sanders of Canada overcame his usual slow swim with race-best bike and run splits and Barbara Riveros of Chile came from 7 minutes behind at T2 with a women’s-best run to win the elite titles at Ironman 70.3 Pucon.
After ending the 2016 season with a world record Ironman brand time at Arizona, Lionel Sanders of Canada maintained excellent form in the first race of 2017 with a 5:57 margin of victory over Felipe Barraza of Chile at Pucon.
Sanders began his day with a usual deficit – a tied-for-15th best 28:20 swim which left him 3:45 behind top swimmer Vicente Trewhela of Chile, 3:09 back of Gaspar Riveros of Chile, 3:06 behind Felipe Barraza of Chile, 2:59 behind Felipe Van de Wyngard of Chile, 2:10 behind Ben Collins of the U.S., 2:05 behind Luciano Taccone of Argentina, 3 seconds behind Jesse Thomas of the U.S., and even with Mario de Elias of Argentina.
After a race-best 2:09:23 bike split, Sanders advanced to second place, 47 seconds behind Van de Wyngard (second-best 2:11:35 bike split), 1:14 ahead of Barraza, 3:39 ahead of Ben Collins, and 3:44 ahead of Taccone.
Sanders then unleashed his fearsome run, closing with a race-best 1:16:37 half marathon to finish in 4:00:08 with a 5:57 margin of victory over Barraza, who edged Taccone by 5 seconds for the silver.
Van de Wyngard fell from the lead after the bike to 4th at the finish with a 6th-best 1:26:25 run that left him 3:25 off the podium. U.S. stars Jesse Thomas and Ben Collins took 5th and 6th places after 5th and 7th best runs.
Barbara Riveros of Chile won her 3rd Pucon title on the strength of a dominating run split that gave her a come-from-behind 30-seconds margin over long-time race leader Alicia Kaye of the U.S.
Haley Chura of the U.S. led the swim with a 26:49 split that gave her a 5 seconds margin on Macarena Salazar Ezquerra of Chile, 15 seconds over Kaye and 17 seconds over Riveros.
Kaye blitzed the bike leg with a 2:28:11 split that gave her a 6:41 lead on Chura and a 6:59 margin on Riveros. Using the foot speed that brought her a 5th overall finish at the Rio Olympics, Riveros ran a by-far women’s-best 1:29:55 half marathon that brought her past Kaye (1:37:24 run) in the final kilometers. Riveros finished in 4:32:09 with a 30 seconds margin on Kaye and 10:34 on Chura, who took the final spot on the women’s podium in 4:42:43.
Ironman 70.3 Pucon
January 15, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 4:00:08
2. Felipe Barraza (CHL) 4:06:05
3. Luciano Taccone (ARG) 4:06:10
4. Felipe Van de Wyngard (CHL) 4:09:34
5. Jesse Thomas (USA) 4:13:14
6. Ben Collins (USA) 4:14:22
7. Mario de Elias ARG) 4:18:37
8. Martin Ulloa (CHL) 4:20:15
1. Barbara Riveros (CHL) 4:32:09
2. Alicia Kaye (USA) 4:32:39
3. Haley Chura (USA) 4:42:43
to be updated