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CHALLENGEDAYTONA pro battle is on: ‘In triathlon there is nothing like this’

DAYTONA BEACH, 13-12-2019
While the pro race for CHALLENGEDAYTONA is scheduled 4:30pm tomorrow, it was today that all the pro athletes were checking out the iconic course at the Daytona International SpeedwayⓇ in Daytona Beach, Florida. At the press conference afterwards they all agreed: “There’s nothing in the world like this. We are very lucky to be able to race here at Daytona, where every fan is able to follow the race from start to finish.”

The CHALLENGEDAYTONA pro race consists a two-lap 1 mile swim (1.6km), a 15-lap 37.5 miles bike (60km) and a two-lap 8.2 miles run (13.1km), all within the Daytona International Speedway property. This ‘Daytona Distance’ makes it one of the most iconic races on the CHALLENGEFAMILY calendar. Not only because of the amazing venue and spectacular course, but also because of the enormous and strong pro field showing up. Athletes as Lionel Sanders (CAN), Lucy Charles (GBR), Pablo Gonzalez Dapena (ESP), Lisa Norden (SWE), Paula Findlay (CAN), Joe Maloy (USA), Taylor Reid (CAN), Andrew Starykowicz (USA) and Meredith Kessler (USA) will race for victory.

‘There is no better race course’
All these pro athletes are allowed to race on Daytona International Speedway, home of the Daytona 500 – the most prestigious race in NASCAR. The venue is seriously impressive and fast. “There is no better race course for how I used to train on the indoors”, said fan favorite Sanders. “I feel like I’m back in shape after some months of injury and being here with a lot of confidence. I’m looking forward to this spectacular race.”

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Same goes for Charles, most likely the biggest favorite at the women’s race. “I’ve never raced in December before, so this is new to me. I guess the shorter distance is a bit more fun and with everyone on the track at the same time, it’s going to be a great race. Despite I had a good off-season with lots of eating, drinking and being a dog mum (referring to her just bought puppy, ed.), I’m definitely fitter than last year when I just got married.”

‘World Champions all over’
American Joe Maloy is going for his first longer distance race. “So I was hoping someone telling me I am at the wrong press conference here”, he laughed. ”World Champions all over. But to be honest, this is a great opportunity to experience a CHALLENGEFAMILY race, while friends and family can watch the whole thing instead of checking out the start and then not seeing me for two hours. Now they can see why I’m so tired afterwards. This race is going to be fantastic and a very unique experience for all of us.”

‘An experience almost nobody gets’
Canadian Paula Findlay thinks the same about this. ”Racing on this track is an experience almost nobody gets. This is very spectacular. It’s been an up and down season for me, I had some injuries, but I’m feeling very confident right now. I’m a racer, never want to risk anything and I’m going to give it my all for sure.”

Another woman who is going to give it her all, is 41-year old Meredith Kessler from the USA. “This course is so fabulous and we are very lucky to race here. I’m not a technical racer, everybody knows that, so this course suits me very well. I know I’m 41 and despite you can’t deny science, age is only a number. I know I only have some few years racing left and maybe I recognize even more the privilege of racing. That feeling is what gets me at the start line every time again.”

See also:  Athletes Make History at Inaugural CHALLENGE DAYTONA

‘Racing here is insane’
Just like Kessler also American Andrew Starykowicz is ready for the race in his home country. “As far as I know there has never been a triathlon Under the Lights before. To be able to race here tomorrow is insane. It’s a fast track which lines up perfectly, so bring it on”, said by the fastest biker on a Long Distance ever.

Taylor Reid, who became fourth last year, has his strategy clear. “Swim like a fish, ride like the wind and then run damn fast. I’m looking forward to hammering on the bike. I may be a little small for a power course like this, but maybe I’m more aero then”, he laughs. “This venue is amazing and there is nothing in triathlon like this.”

Last but not least Pablo Gonzalez Dapena is hoping for an amazing race. He is coming back from an injury. “We’ll see tomorrow and I’m crossing fingers to have a strong finish. It’s been a long season and I’ll use this race as a last opportunity to earn some points for the CHALLENGEFAMILY World Bonus.”

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