Since it was built in 1959, Daytona International Speedway has been host to some of the fastest motosport racing in the world. Last weekend we got to see Andrew Starykowicz and Lionel Sanders rip through some super-fast bike splits around the 2.5 mile (4:02 km) tri-oval.
The “Distance Under the Lights” race at Challenge Daytona consisted of a 1 mile (1.6 km) swim, an advertised 37.5-mile bike course (which is said to be more like 38 miles – 61.04 km – when you add in the distance to, and from, transition), followed by an eight-mile (12.9 km) run, also around the speedway.
Regardless of whether or not the course was 37.5 or 38 miles, American Andrew Starykowicz achieved his goal of averaging more than 30 mph (48.24 kph). Starykowicz, who is the fastest ever on a bike over the full-distance thanks to his 3:54:59 split at Ironman Texas, completed the bike in Daytona in 1:14:43, which works out to 30.51 mph (49.07 kph) if the course is 38 miles, 30.12 (48.43) if it was 37.5 miles.
Sanders’ split was just 11-seconds slower than the Americans, 1:14:54, which means he averaged 30.44 mph/ 48.95 kph if the course was 38 miles and 30.04/ 48.30 if it was 37.5. Coming out of the water 50-seconds behind Starykowicz, Sanders put together a few laps averaging over 50 kph in trying to get to the front of the race.
Sanders rides a Canyon Speedmax with HED wheels and Shimano Dura Ace components. (We reported on Sanders’ switch to Canyon last year.)
As we reported in our race recap, Starykowicz led off the bike, but was quickly caught on the run by Sanders and Spain’s Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, with Sanders taking the race after a dramatic surge over the closing mile of the run.