Canadian double at Challenge Daytona – Findlay and Sanders win “Under the Lights”

Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade

In Pictures: Fast racing at the Daytona International Speedway

Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay run to victory in Florida

The final big Pro race of the 2019 season took place on Saturday at the home of NASCAR’s Daytona 500, Challenge Daytona, at the Daytona Motor Speedway in Florida.

The “Daytona Under the Lights” distance meant full-gas racing from the start and resulted in two close races. In a case of deja vu from last week’s IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells, it was once again Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay who came out on top.

Sanders started the run in third place, just a few second back on the fast transition of Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP), as that fast-running pair set off to chase down the narrow lead of Andrew Starykowicz over the 13km run. The Spanish athlete was the one pushing the pace, and Sanders was digging deep to stay with him, only managing to pull clear in the final stages after a hard fought race.

For the women, a trio of Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), Paula Findlay (CAN) and Lisa Norden (SWE) all dismounted the bike within seconds and looked set to contest the win with a significant lead over fourth placed Meredith Kessler. Norden was soon relegated to third, as Lucy and Paula pushed on for the win. It was the multiple World Triathlon Series winner, Findlay, who proved the strongest and crossed the line a minute clear of the young Brit. Lucy was more than happy with her second place, considering her efforts well above where her current (post-Kona, off-season) fitness is. A great double for the Canadians.

Once again we benefit from the photography skills of José Luis Hourcade (www.joseluishourcade.com), who continues to provide us with visual insight into many of the biggest triathlon events from around the world.

Check out some great images from the race below

Challenge Daytona, Daytona International Speedway – Saturday 14th December 2019
1.6km / 60km / 13.2km

PRO MEN

1st – Lionel Sanders (CAN) – 2:23:02
2nd – Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP) – 2:23:32
3rd – Jason West (USA) – 2:27:32
4th – Andrew Starykowicz (USA) – 2:27:53
5th – Joe Maloy (USA) – 2:28:28
6th – Magnus Ditliv (DEN) – 2:29:52
7th – Kieran Lindars (GBR) – 2:30:44
8th – Reece Charles-Barclay (GBR) – 2:33:00

PRO WOMEN

1st – Paula Findlay (CAN) – 2:38:47
2nd – Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) – 2:39:48
3rd – Lisa Norden (SWE) – 2:43:50
4th – Meredith Kessler (USA) – 2:44:45
5th – Laura Siddall (GBR) – 2:51:41

Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Uber-biker Andrew Starykowicz gets ready to swim
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Lionel Sanders doesn’t look quite so happy about the first discipline
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Lucy Charles-Barclay is always happy to swim
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
A focussed looking Paula Findlay
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
The Men’s Pro Swim gets started
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
The Women’s Pro started followed soon after
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
No shortage of seating here
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
No surprise to see Lucy leading after lap one
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Lisa Norden and Paula Findlay chase
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Great Britain’s Kieran Lindars leads the men’s pack into T1
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Pablo Dapena Gonzalez and Eric Lagerstrom in the leading pack
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Starykowicz wasn’t too far back…
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
… and would start the bike clear of Sanders
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
First, alone, into T1. Normal service for Lucy Charles-Barclay
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Pablo Dapena Gonzalez was an early leader
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Lucy leading the way on the bike
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Reece Charles-Barclay on the Motor Speedway
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Flat out – but Sanders still couldn’t catch Starykowicz on the bike
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Great Britain’s Laura Siddall
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Cyclists on the tarmac typically reserved for racing cars
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Meredith Kessler
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
“Daytona Under the Lights”
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
After catching Starykowicz, Sanders and Dapena Gonzalez ran shoulder-to-shoulder
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev impressed on the bike
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
ITU WTS regular, Joe Maloy (USA)
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Charles-Barclay and Findlay head-to-head for the win
Jason West would eventually catch and pass Andrew Starykowicz for third place
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Lionel wins after a great battle on the run
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
Paula Findlay makes it a Canadian double
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
The men’s Pro podium
Challenge Daytona 2019 - Jose Luis Hourcade
The Pro women in Victory Lane