Chris McCormack’s Analysis Of The Kona Contenders

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Oct 7, 2011
  • Updated Oct 7, 2011 at 11:20 PM UTC
Photo: Paul Phillips

Chris Lieto

Is Chris Lieto good enough to win?

Not playing the same card he’s been playing. If I were Chris Lieto I would look at playing a similar card but taking the horsepower [of the other strong riders with him]. The days of Lieto’s huge bike ride and everyone being way behind is over because there are five or six guys that are in between the [trailing] group of fast runners and Lieto. He needs to make sure that horsepower—the five or six guys in the middle—goes with him initially and takes that speed out of the run group. When you get the Faris Al Sultans and those guys at the front of the group of [runners], they keep the runners in the game. Lieto should be talking to people all week saying, “Okay this is where I’m going to go man, come with me and help take that horsepower out of the running group.” Crowie’s going to try and stay with that fast group. If Crowie does decide to go, [Lieto] needs to keep the pressure on and hurt those legs and once you take the power out of the running group, that gap is big enough for Lieto to win it. He’s better off running against [other strong cyclists like] a [Maik] Twelsiek and a Ronnie Schildknecht, that kind of guy. The problem with those guys is they keep the runners in the game. And if you start behind from the swim you’ve got the Michi Weiss’ and Maik Twelsieks that can pick you up and bring you back to the game again. It’s an interesting game and Lieto needs to change his plan. It’s not as simple as just running quicker, you know. I think his strategy is smack on. It’s just where he’s putting out his power how he’s going about it, how the race is unfolding behind him and how he can influence it in a way that to best suit his strengths because a biker can still win this thing and Lieto is by far the quickest biker. And he can run. He can run, he just needs more time on the pure runners.

RELATED: Chris Lieto’s Ironman Hawaii Bike

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Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at

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