Macca’s Verdict: I Hope Lionel Proves Me Wrong


All the talk is about Lionel Sanders and how he will go. Lionel is a superstar on Zwift, he is such a powerhouse, but with Arena Games it’s all about how quickly the swim is executed and Lionel’s achilles heel is the swim, so it’s a question of whether he can hit those low numbers of just over two minutes? He could be 20 or 25 seconds down on that mark, which leaves him a lot of work to do.

He will definitely put out more power than anyone has ever seen in this type of race. It is just whether he can sustain it.

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How do I think he will go? Lionel is a warrior. He’s a great athlete to watch. This is a race of speed and lactate tolerance and lactate threshold and when you are a diesel engine like Lionel, a powerful one at that, you just don’t have that horsepower and you can’t give athletes of the calibre of this field that type of start.


He’s going to be great to watch. He shows everything on his face. I hope he proves me wrong, but I think Aurelien Raphel will win this and I’m very happy to see Henri Schoeman back in the mix.

Henri is coming back from injury and is one of our Championship Series stars of the past. He has had a rough year with injuries but will race for Bahrain Victorious 13.

He’s such a big swimmer and we all know in Arena Games the swim is huge so he can do some damage.

Do not be surprised at the damage and speed the athletes around Lionel will do and just how difficult it will be for him.

I throw my mind back to athletes like Cam Wurf who came and raced Malibu last year and we saw how quickly he was exposed in that open water swim.

The pool swim gives Lionel some protection and a chance to focus on his stroke and he may get a 2:15-2:20 swim, which would be great for Lionel, but it’s how quick he moves through transition, how much power he can put out – with non-drafting suiting him – but also knowing there is not the real estate to eat into those losses.

And, even if you can do all that then do you have the leg speed on those treadmills to match the speed of Raphael and Schoeman and the other athletes? With the utmost respect, I don’t think he has.

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