Angelica Olmo competed at the Tokyo Olympics last year, then competed at two more WTCS races before leaving the sport for nine months. Then someone suggested she try Clash Daytona, and with three months training, the Italian put together a magical performance to win the race held at the iconic Daytona International Speedway.
Belgian Olympian Valerie Barthelemy (10th in Tokyo last year), led the way out of the water after the 1.6 km (1 mile) swim, but it was Spain’s Sara Perez Sala who surged out to the bike course in the lead. The Spaniard, who had a horrific crash at Clash Miami earlier this year while leading the bike, continued to power her way through the 60 km (38 mile) bike.
Olmo was close enough behind into T2 that she was able to quickly run past Denmark’s Sif Madsen, who had been second into T2, and set her sights on the Spaniard out in front. Just before the end of the second of three loops of the 13.2 km (8.2 mile) run, Olmo surged into the lead and never looked back, taking the day in 2:40:11. Sala hung on for a brilliant runner-up finish in 2:40:39, with another Switzerland’s Julie Derron rounding out the top three in 2:41:55. Jackie Hering (USA) took fourth in 2:42:18, with Haley Chura finishing fifth in 2:43:52.