The PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA® provided some incredible performances, with the deepest elite triathlon field ever showcasing their ability in spellbinding fashion.
To celebrate the array of talent on display in Florida, we have created an ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ for both men’s and women’s races, consisting of the very best performers for each leg.
The ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ would excel in every discipline, making them a frightening prospect for even the greatest opposition.
Women’s ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’
Swim: Lucy Hall (24:16)
Renowned as one of the fastest swimmers in triathlon, Lucy certainly lived up to her reputation in Florida. She asserted her dominance in the water by completing the 2km swim in an impressive 24:16, clocking a rapid average pace of 1:13 per 100m.
The 28-year-old was marginally quicker on the opening lap of the two-lap swim, clocking 12:06 for the first kilometre and 12:10 for the second.
With her frightening pace and remarkable consistency in the swim, Hall would get the women’s ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ off to a flying start.
Bike: Lisa Norden (1:51:04)
It may have been a disappointing day in the end for Lisa Norden as injury early in the run saw her unable to complete the race, but she certainly did herself justice on the bike.
When she hopped onto the bike for the 80km ride, Lisa found herself in 10th position and within striking distance of the leaders.
As the laps ticked by she slowly reeled in the leading pack, claiming second position by lap seven and ultimately found herself leading the all-star field by the halfway point of the leg.
The 36-year-old held a firm grip on top spot for the remainder of the bike leg, clocking an average speed of 43.2km per hour. She also produced a split some nine seconds faster than eventual winner Paula Findlay and more than two minutes quicker than eventual third-place finisher Laura Philipp.
Run: Anne Haug (1:05:01)
Although it was Findlay who crossed the line first to claim top spot on the podium, it was second-placed Anne Haug who recorded the fastest run time.
The German scythed her way through the field on the final leg, making up three places on the first lap of the 18km run to move up to ninth position.
Haug continued to blitz her way through the opposition, averaging a blistering pace of 3:37 per km as she pushed through to ultimately claim second position.
Haug clocked 1:05:01 for the run, a phenomenal 1:24 faster than Findlay. This was an impressive feat in itself, but even more so when you consider the 37-year-old served a two-minute penalty from T2 which was included in her time.
A barnstorming run from Haug would be the perfect way for the women’s ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ to round off the race.
The women’s ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ would have recorded an outrageous overall time of 3:20:21 in Florida, 4:34 ahead of winner Findlay.
Men’s ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’
Swim: Henri Schoeman (22:25)
As one of the fastest swimmers in triathlon there were high expectations of Henri Schoeman heading into the first leg in Daytona, and the South African certainly didn’t disappoint.
Henri set a ferocious pace of 1:07 per 100m as he completed the first kilometre in 11:09. His second kilometre lap was seven seconds slower, but still enough to see him complete the leg at the head of the greatest field ever assembled.
He led a 12-man chasing group of out of the water, all separated by less than 15 seconds.
With vast experience and staggering pace through the water, a swim from Schoeman would be the perfect way for the ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ to kick off the race.
Bike: Magnus Ditlev (1:38:12)
Dubbed by many as king of the bike, Magnus Ditlev did his reputation no harm with a stunning display in in Florida.
When Magnus took to the bike for the 80km ride, he was down in a lowly 44th position and would be forgiven for ruling out any hope of contending with the frontrunners.
But the Danish star bedded in for an astonishing ride as he hauled his way up the field, clocking a lightning-fast average speed of 48.9km per hour.
As he approached the 30km mark he was already inside the top 20, and broke into the top 10 shortly after the halfway point.
His breakneck pace continued and he even led the pack for three laps before slipping back slightly and ending the bike leg in a commendable fourth position.
Run: Matt Hanson (57:21)
Matt Hanson claimed second position at the PTO 2020 Championship, and his impressive result was largely owed to his stellar run performance.
During the swim and bike legs Hanson was largely anonymous, holding down a position deep in the midfield of the pack. But he came into his own on the run.
Beginning the 18km leg, Matt was outside the top 20 but powered into the top 10 by the halfway stage.
Clocking an eye-watering average pace of 3:11 per km, he overtook five athletes on lap six of the nine-lap leg to move up to a podium position.
The following lap he edged into second place, where he would remain for the remainder of the race, crowning a fantastic final leg.
Hanson trailed only Gustav Iden at the finish line, but his 57:21 run split was almost a minute quicker than the Norwegian prodigy.
To produce such pace in the final leg of a gruelling competition would be a fitting way for the ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ to finish the race.
The men’s ‘Ultimate Daytona Triathlete’ would have finished in Florida with a breathtaking time of 2:57:58, just over six and a half minutes clear of Iden.