Ranked 66th in the PTO World Rankings, she fought back in the second and third legs to clock a time of 3:35:07, and in the process overtook 2012 Olympic champion Nicola Spirig to take home $18,000 from the richest triathlon ever.
Placed 34th after the 2km swim, which she achieved in 27:42, the Sardinian climbed to 24th following the 80km bike ride, with a split of 1:56:32.
However, it was in the 18km run over the Daytona International Speedway® that she really came into her own, notching the sixth fastest time of 1:08:18.
“I’m so happy,” she said on Instagram. “The last 16 months I couldn’t race because of injury and a global pandemic.
“So, when I had the worst swim of my career at the PTO Championships, I just stayed positive and kept on pushing hard, because it’s a privilege doing this and overcoming a bad swim is not the end of the world.
“Eventually, I passed 10 athletes on the bike and 14 on the run, turning a bad start into a 9th place. Thank you to my wonderful coach, Bella Bayliss, and my amazing sponsors supporting me no matter what.”
These were her Weapons of Choice in the Daytona extravaganza:
Goggles: Jaked Blink
Wetsuit: Sailfish Ultimate IPS
Speedsuit: Sailfish Rebel
Trisuit: Bioracer aero
Bike frame: Scott Plasma
Frame size: XS
Aero Bars: Pro Missile Base Bar/ Custom Extensions by Orru
Front wheel: HED Jet Black 4
Rear Wheel: HED Jet Black 4
Front tyre: Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR 23″
Rear tyre: Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR 23″
Component Groupset: Shimano Di2 XTR & Dura Ace
Head unit / Computer: Garmin Edge 130
Helmet: Lazer Victor
Eyewear: Laxer integrated visor
Pedals: Shimano Dura Ace
Cycling shoes: Scott Tri Carbon
Hydration System: Custom
Gearing: 5GT Poweroval with 9-32 3T cassette
Saddle: Syncros Belcarra Tri
Shoes: Nike Vaporfly Next %
Heart Rate Monitor: Wahoo Tickr
Eyewear: Oakley Radar EV