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Gallery: The Debut Challenge Daytona

Check out the action from Sunday's Challenge Daytona, Florida, through the lens of José Luis Hourcade as Challenge Family returns to North America

Chief Correspondent
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Weather can’t stop the racing action at the first edition of Challenge Daytona

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Pieter Heemeryck, Sarah Haskins take the honours in Florida

A year ago (HERE) I was fortunate to be in Florida at the ‘World Center of Racing’, Daytona International Speedway, for the launch of the return of Challenge Family to the U.S. market with Challenge Daytona (www.challenge-daytona.com).

The scheduled Middle Distance race was impacted by difficult weather conditions, storms and lightening and with a delayed start the Pro race (held entirely within and on the grounds of the motor racing circuit), went ahead with reduced distances of approximately 1.6km swim, 60km bike and 13km run. Feedback from the Pro athletes seems to have been very positive concerning the organisers dealing with the difficult circumstances and still delivering a quality race despite the late changes required.

Seeking to improve his position in the Challenge Family rankings (as I suggested some European athletes would look to do), Belgium’s Pieter Heemeryck took the men’s win ahead of home athlete and first-off-the-bike, Andrew Starykowicz.

The USA’s Sarah Haskins was a dominant women’s champion, setting the fastest splits across all three disciplines for a five minute margin of victory.

Check out the action in pictures from, for the last time in 2018 (we think!), the very well-travelled lens of photographer José Luis Hourcade (www.joseluishourcade.com).

Challenge Daytona, Sunday 9th December 2018
1.6km / 60km / 13km (Distances amended due to lightening / delayed start / course changes)

PRO MEN

1st – Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) – 2:27:45
2nd – Andrew Starykowicz (USA) – 2:28:58
3rd – Santiago Ascenco (BRA) – 2:29:44
4th – Taylor Reid (CAN) – 2:31:41
5th – Matthew Russell (USA) – 2:33:26
6th – Steven Zawaski (USA) – 2:34:21
7th – Chris Standidge (GBR) – 2:34:52
8th – Sam Proctor (GBR) – 2:37:14

PRO WOMEN

1st – Sarah Haskins (USA) – 2:42:52
2nd – Alicia Kaye (USA) – 2:47:58
3rd – Meredith Kessler (USA) – 2:50:35
4th – Laura Matthews (USA) – 2:53:49
5th – Lisa Roberts (USA) – 2:57:34

THE RACE IN PICTURES – ALL IMAGES ©JOSÉ LUIS HOURCADE

Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
No doubting this location
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
The swim took place within the grounds of the racing circuit
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Cameron Wurf (AUS)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Andrew Starykowicz (USA)

Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade

Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade

Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Meredith Kessler (USA)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Andy Potts (USA) was the fastest in the water
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Dylan McNiece (NZL)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Eventual race winner Pieter Heemeryck (BEL), with Great Britain’s Sam Proctor just behind
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Cameron Wurf (AUS) and Chris Standidge (GBR)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Eventual winner, Sarah Haskins (USA)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Lauren Goss (USA)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Meredith Kessler (USA) exits the swim
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Riders on the racing circuit
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Andy Potts (USA)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
The patriotic colours of Matthew Russell
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Plenty of room in that grandstand
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Steven Zawaski (USA) finished sixth
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Tenth for Cameron Wurf (AUS) on this day
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Sarah Haskins (USA) in aero mode
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) helped his Challenge Family points standings with the win
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Laura Matthews (USA) finished fourth
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Close-up support for the athletes
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Andrew Starykowicz (USA) lead the way on the bike
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Brandon Krout (USA) rides a Ventum

Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade

Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Cameron Wurf chasing (for a change), on the bike
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Check out the banking on that track
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Starykowicz alone starting the run
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Wurf chasing – but faded to tenth, a week after second at IRONMAN Western Australia
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) starts his charge to the lead
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Canadian Taylor Reid finished fourth
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Fifth for Matthew Russell – great to follow his recovery from that Kona 2017 horror crash
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Great Britain’s Sam Proctor on the run
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Andy Potts runs across the start/finish line of the legendary circuit
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Heemeryck starts the celebrations
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
The debut Challenge Daytona Men’s Champion
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Andrew Starykowicz (2nd), Pieter Heemeryck (1st) and Santiago Ascenco (3rd)
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Sarah Haskins is the first Challenge Daytona Women’s Champion
Challenge Daytona 2018 - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Alicia Kaye (2nd), Sarah Haskins (1st) and Meredith Kessler (3rd)
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.

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