In a shortened sports season where races and wins have become quite rare, Ben Kanute triumphed in the seventh edition of the IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge.
The race was held over two days virtually on the ROUVY augmented reality platform, with the eight participating professional athletes on their bike trainers riding two laps of a defined 20-kilometer bike course in a mixed pursuit format. During the first lap, two women at a time started with a three-minute lead on two men. After a break, the second lap started where each athlete was sent off based on their finish times from the first lap. The first athlete to cross the finish line would be the overall winner.
Kanute rode a Lap 1 time of 25 minutes and 37 seconds, the fastest of all. This put him in first position for the pursuit-style Lap 2. The American tightened his grip on the overall top spot as he once again rode the fastest time of 25 minutes and 55 seconds.
He said, “As always, racing is hard, and virtual racing is a special kind of pain. I enjoyed chasing Brent McMahon, Sarah Piampiano, and Melanie McQuaid around the course. Congrats to everyone who raced. It felt good to put on the race kit for the first time this year.”
The IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge was held in tandem with the IRONMAN VR7 sprint distance simulation in which more than 24,000 athletes from 147 nations participated virtually.