IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant 2022 preview: Lionel is back (again!)

A busy weekend coming up for the M-Dot machine, with four Pro races taking place this coming Sunday. Three of those are in Europe – news on those soon – but the Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, could provide some interesting insights.

It has no championship status and has the lowest prize purse of the weekend, but there’s still enough interest on the provisional start list to warrant some comment and discussion – so let’s get to it.

The race starts at 0700 local time on Sunday 26 June 2022. That’s 1200 UK time, 1300 CET and 0700 Eastern Standard Time.

There is no live broadcast / streaming this weekend, which means that the ever reliable IRONMAN Tracker app is going to be your primary source of live information.

Pro Men

Who is going to finish second? That might be the question you ask if you look at the previous winners list below. Mr ‘No Limits’, Lionel Sanders won this race four times back-to-back, 2015 to 2018 inclusive. He didn’t race the last time the event was held in 2019.

Going back even further, he finished fourth at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant in 2014 – a day in which he was absolutely dead last out of the water. He finished 4:33 behind Javier Gomez that day. His swim deficit? That was 4:33 too… and Lionel doesn’t finish dead last in any swims these days.

History aside, Sanders will race for the first time off the back of his second place at the IRONMAN World Championship in St George. On home soil, and with another big target in Canada next month, the PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton, he is seemingly in great shape too, based on his recent updates from his altitude training camp in Flagstaff.

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN

Before we start awarding the medals though… Sanders will only get bib #2, because the defending (2019) champion is another Canadian, Jackson Laundry, who has already beaten Lionel this year at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside in ‘the best race of his life‘.

Photo Credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN

Other top contenders will be Cody Beals (CAN), off the back of a win two weeks ago at IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman. Beals has beaten Sanders twice at this venue – though that was over double the distance in both 2018 and 2019.

Eric Lagerstrom (USA) will also have podium thoughts. Seventh at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship last year, he recently won the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.

Objectively however, I can’t see anything but a Sanders win here. Incredibly consistent over the distance, the depth of field isn’t as strong as that from earlier in the season in Oceanside, meaning that Sanders is unlikely to have such a strong lead group up the road to chase down from any swim deficit.

Pro Women

Will Flora Duffy race? That’s perhaps the key question to ask here, after COVID disrupted her plans to secure an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship qualifying slot at IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga.

After an uncharacteristic seventh place at WTCS Leeds, Duffy told us post-race that she felt she needed to get back to some solid training after her second COVID interruption, and thus it is no surprise at all to see that she is skipping WTCS Montreal this weekend, especially as it is in super-sprint / Eliminator format.

Photo Credit: Ben Lumley / World Triathlon

The 70.3 could make a lot more sense with that backgroud, as if she had gone straight back into more of an endurance block to recover that lost fitness, it’s a race she could pretty much train through… and probably still win, without needing to try and find the final few percent she was missing in Leeds. With three WC qualifying slots on offer, no concerns there for an athlete of her outstanding background and talents.

Of course, Duffy may have decided that the more prudent approach – with Commonwealth Games coming up in six weeks – is to park those middle-distance targets for now, and make sure she is fully prepared for what will be a difficult title defence in Birmingham. The likes of Georgia Taylor-Brown, Sophie Coldwell and Beth Potter are showing good form, meaning that event will not be an easy one.

Seeking a Canadian victory will be Tamara Jewett, who was a close second two weeks ago at IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman. The PTO rankings have Jewett as the best runner in the sport – and she’s recored 1:14’s in both of her 70.3 races this year, which can make seemingly ‘no chance’ deficits at T2 quite possible for the current World #18.

IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells 2021 podium – Danielle Lewis, Tamara Jewett, Ali Brauer

TRI247 columnist, Ali Brauer (USA) will also race, having finished one place behind Jewett at the end of 2021 at IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells. She started her racing year recently with a win at the White Lake in North Carolina. This will be a step up from that.

Should Duffy start however, everyone else is racing for second place in my view.

Previous Winners

2019: Jackson Laundry (CAN) / Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)2018: Lionel Sanders (CAN) / Meredith Kessler (USA)2017: Lionel Sanders (CAN) / Holly Lawrence (GBR)2016: Lionel Sanders (CAN) / Holly Lawrence (GBR)2015: Lionel Sanders (CAN) / Meredith Kessler (USA)2014: Jesse Thomas (USA) / Meredith Kessler (USA)2014**: Javier Gomez (ESP) / Daniela Ryf (SUI)

(** IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event)

Prize Money: What’s on the line?

The prize purse on offer this weekend is $30,000 – with each of the winners collecting a $4,000 share of that total.

In addition to money, there will be a total of six qualifying slots (three MPRO / three FPRO) for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St George, October 28-29 2022.

The total funds will be paid eight-deep, as follows:


Of course, thanks to the formation of the Professional Triathletes Organisation, financial rewards from performance are not solely from on-the-day performances.

The PTO World Rankings will see a total of $2million awarded at the end of 2022, based up on the final standings in those points tables. The rewards there can be substantial, with a move up or down the rankings system potentially earning you more than any individual event.

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