Unfortunately we won’t see Canadian Paula Findlay go after a third straight win in Daytona, but that doesn’t mean Saturday’s Facebook Live coverage of the event won’t be exciting as Kristian Blummenfelt looks to wrap up an amazing 2021 season with another long-distance win at the Daytona International Speedway.
The Norwegian followed his Olympic victory with another impressive win at the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Grand Final in Edmonton, which netted him the WTCS world title, too. A flat tire sidelined his hopes for a big day at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah, but Blummenfelt more than bounced back with an incredible 7:21 finish at his full-distance debut at Ironman Cozumel. Now he’ll finish his impressive year with the 2 km swim/ 80 km bike and 18 km run at the famous Nascar track, where there’s $100,000 in prize money up for grabs.
Blummenfelt will be the headline athlete at the race, but his legs will have to have recovered pretty well from Cozumel if he’s going to hold off some of the speedy men he’ll be racing in Daytona. Americans Ben Kanute, Rudy Von Berg, Collin Chartier, Matt Hanson and Andrew Starykowicz will look to keep the Olympic gold medalist off the top of the podium – Kanute, Chartier and Von Berg typically are strong in all three disciplines, while Starykowicz is renowned for his crazy-fast bike splits and Hanson, as long as he’s recovered from his recent surgery, is one of the sport’s premier runners. Others to keep an eye on this weekend include Dane Magnus Ditlev and Belgium’s Bart Aernouts.
Canadians Brent McMahon and Taylor Reid are also in the field – Reid has enjoyed some success in Daytona in years past and McMahon, who is typically in the lead group out of the water, will also be well suited to the flat, fast course around the speedway.
Here’s the full list of the pro men competing at Clash Daytona:
Stimpson looks for another speedway win
Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson is one of many athletes who could be considered a favourite in the wide-open women’s race. Since her win in March at Challenge Miami, Stimpson has struggled, but has been training in Clermont and appears ready to take on the competitive field this weekend. Others to keep an eye on include American Jackie Hering, New Zealand’s Hannah Wells, Great Britain’s Lucy Hall and Spain’s Sara Perez Sala, who will likely lead the women out of the water. (Perez Sala was out of the water with Lucy Charles-Barclay in Miami.)
Others to keep an eye on are France’s Marjolaine Pierre, fresh off a win at Ironman 70.3 Portugal last month, three time Kona champ Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), American Meredith Kessler and Great Britain’s Laura Siddall.
Canada’s Rach McBride is the lone Canadian pro in the women’s race.
Here’s a list of all the pro women.
The pro race in Daytona will be streamed live via Facebook Live starting at 11:30 AM EST. The coverage will be hosted by Rick Allen and Belinda Granger, with Tim O’Donnell, Alicia Kaye and Greg Bennett providing on the ground updates. The livestream can be purchased for $2.79 now, but will rise to $3.99 48 hours before the race.
You can get details on the live coverage here.