Sam Long has continued to rack up IRONMAN 70.3 podium finishes in 2021 with strong performances at Texas and St.George.
An impeccable run from Sanders saw him claim victory, while Long was edged out by Kanute by just six seconds despite a monumental effort.
Long then improved on that result with a second-place finish in St.George, in a race that produced an enthralling battle on the final leg.
Up against one of the strongest runners in triathlon in Sanders once again, Long fought his Canadian rival right up to the finish line in another impressive display.
A captivating final few kilometres saw the two athletes run shoulder-to-shoulder, with Sanders eventually finishing just six seconds clear of Long to take the win.
Long, however, was delighted with his overall performance, as he combined his customary rapid cycling display with a strong swim and run to push one of the sport’s most elite performers to the limit.
“Wow what an absolute day,” he wrote on social media after the race. “Speechless but also incredibly grateful.
“I did everything I could and played the tactics brilliantly with my strengths and weaknesses. I had a good swim too.
“Good enough for a sprint finish with Lionel. Big congrats to @lsanderstri. The sport of triathlon is moving into the limelight and the drama and competition is amazing.”
Long now has his sights set on IRONMAN Tulsa, as he looks to reaffirm his chances of making the USA team for August’s Collins Cup with another eye-catching showing.
Check out Sam’s ‘Weapons of Choice’:
Goggles: Michael Phelps Xceed
Wetsuit: Michael Phelps Phantom
Speedsuit: Phantom Speedsuit
Trisuit: Wattie INK Contender
Sports Watch: Wahoo Rival
Bike frame: Argon18 E-119 Tri+
Frame size: XL
Aerobars: 51 Speedshop
Front Wheel: ENVE SES 7-8
Rear Wheel: ENVE SES Disc
Tyres: ENVE SES, Tubeless
Component Groupset: Shimano Dura ace
Power meter: Shimano Dura ace
Head unit: Wahoo Elemnt
Crank Length: 172.5mm
Helmet: Rudy Project The Wing
Cycling Shoes: Shimano RC-9
Gearing: 58/46, 11-28
Shoes: Nike Next%
Eyewear: Rudy Project Propulse