Clash Daytona takes place this weekend at one of the world’s most famous race car tracks – the Daytona International Speedway. Since its inception as Challenge Daytona in 2018 the event has attracted some of the sport’s biggest names, who were showcased on the extensive coverage provided by Nascar Productions.
This year’s professional race takes place on Friday, Dec. 2, and features an interesting mix of short- and long-course specialists who will compete over the unique “Daytona distance” of 1mile/1.6k swim, 37.5 mile/60.3k bike and 8.2mile/13.2k run. They are after their share of the US$100,000 prize purse.
World champion highlights men’s field
Fresh off a surprise victory at the World Triathlon Grand Final that saw him take the world title, France’s Leo Bergere arrives as the headline athlete, although his countryman, two-time world champ Vincent Luis, will also be one of the big pre-race favourites. Canada is very well represented in the field, led by Jackson Laundry, who is attempting a Daytona/ 70.3 Indian Wells-La Quinta double. Other Canadians in the field include 2021 Olympian Matt Sharpe, Taylor Reid and Brett Saunders.
The distances for the event lend themselves to short-course competitors, but it is a non-drafting race, which should benefit the long-distance specialists. On the short-course end of things athletes like 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Henri Schoeman and 2021 Olympic mixed relay silver medalist, Kevin McDowell, will be ones to watch. Matt Hanson, fresh off a runner-up finish at Ironman Arizona, will be another to watch.
Here’s the full list of pro men competing on Friday:
Léo Bergére, Vincent Luis, Matthew Hanson, Jonas Schomburg, Roberto Sanchez, Jason West, Jackson Laundry, Kevin McDowell, Seth Rider, João Pereira, Andrew Starykowicz, Matthew Sharpe, Marc Dubrick, Thomas Bishop, Tomas Rodriguez, Nicholas Chase, Taylor Reid, Kieran Linders, Steven Zawaski, Elliot Bach, Nicolas Gilbert, Vant Lammers, Alberto Casillas, Luis Ortiz, Henri Schoeman, Braxton Bokos and Brett Saunders
Hering returns to defend title
American Jackie Hering won in Daytona last year and would dearly love to repeat that performance again this year.
“I’m looking forward to defending my title at Clash Daytona this year,” she said. “It’s such a historic venue and a great time of year to have a goal that takes me into December.”
Hering will have her work cut out for her this year as she takes on a strong field that includes Spain’s Sara Perez Sala, who won the Challenge Championship in May after crashing on the bike while in the lead at Clash Miami in March. Short-course specialist Julie Derron (SUI) will be another to keep an eye on. Canadians in the field include Rach McBride and Dominika Jamnicky.
Jackie Hering, Julie Derron, Sara Perez Sala, Valerie Barthelemy, Rach McBride, Haley Chura, Lesley Smith, Dominika Jamnicky, Amy Cymerman, Sonja Catano, Mollie Hebda, Grace Alexander, Renee Kiley, Hanne DeVet, Rachel Mensch, Kaidi Kivioja, Pamela Ann Bachelder St-Pierre, Brittany Higgins, Megan Foley, Laura Mathews, Lauren Babineau, Brittany Warly, Sif Madsen and Angelica Olmo
Watch the live coverage
The pro women get underway at 10 AM EST, while the men start at 1 PM EST. The races will be streamed live on Clash’s digital channels – Facebook and YouTube. A highlight show will be broadcast on NBC on Dec. 31 at 4 PM EST.
Full weekend of racing
In addition to the professional race the weekend includes a number of age group events. Friday evening features a 5 km Jingle Jog, Saturday includes a sprint triathlon, duathlon and kids triathlon, and Sunday features a middle-distance event. You can get more information about the event here.