It’s only one day to go for CHALLENGEMIAMI, preparing for a race with a stellar pro field competing on a 1.5km swim, 60.3km bike and 16.9km run course. Biggest battle is expected between triathlon icons Jan Frodeno (GER) and Lionel Sanders (CAN) at the men’s race and Lucy Charles (GBR) and Paula Findlay (CAN) at the women’s race.
While Frodeno of course is seen for many people as the biggest favourite, the German World Champion really looks forward to race. “I’m happy to be here. We’ve checked out the course yesterday and this morning and were very surprised and happy to see what we’ve found. Besides it’s very nice to get some sun on our skin again.” Frodeno, also known as ‘the GOAT’, is hoping for an exciting race. “On a short distance as this it’s all about race competitiveness and bringing some nice dynamics. I truly believe a format like this can be the future for professional Middle Distance racing.”
Sanders does think the same way and explains CHALLENGEMIAMI is going to be a total different race compared to CHALLENGEDAYTONA, where he became fourth. “Thanks to the technical bike parts, we will get lots more relief on the legs. We can soft-pedal the corners. There is no way to predict the dynamics of this race and it will be interesting to see if people will be able to escape. We all are going to learn this on the fly. One thing is for sure: if you’re running 3:20 pace per kilometer, you will be fighting for a tenth place or something.”
At the women’s race there is some big fireworks expected as well, mostly between Lucy Charles and Paula Findlay. In all predictions Charles will get out of the water in leading position, thanks to her always-strong swim. “I really love being chased. I’ve raced always like this as a swimmer: just go as hard as possible in the water and then fight to keep my position.”
For Findlay – who did win CHALLENGEDAYTONA twice – this is something she is aware off. “Lucy will definitely be away of the bunch and it’s all going to be a chasing hunt. To be honest I prefer to be in front of the race, but tomorrow that obviously won’t happen.”
Both women do look forward to the race and are talking about the hot, humid circumstances. “We really need to pay a lot of attention to our nutrition”, Findlay explains. “I don’t feel fully prepared for the heat, but I do think the wind will give a nice cooling effect.”
After the press conference, in which other athletes as Ben Hoffmann, Timothy O’Donnell, Meredith Kessler and Sarah Crowley participate as well; everyone agreed that CHALLENGEMIAMI will show a very interesting dynamic. “I’m pretty sure the strongest athlete will rise the top”, said Hoffmann. For O’Donnell it’s not only about racing. “That’s my tip to everyone: enjoy the journey and every moment of it.”