Challenge Miami Pro Press Conference: the battle is on!

(Picture: Triathlon Today)

There’s only one day to go before Challenge Miami. A stellar pro field is preparing for a race that will include a 1.5 km swim, 60.3 km bike and 16.9 km run. The biggest battle is expected between triathlon icons Jan Frodeno (GER) and Lionel Sanders (CAN) in the men’s race, while Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) and Paula Findlay (CAN) are expected to duel in the women’s race. 

While Frodeno is seen by many people as the top favorite, the German world champion is looking forward to race. “I’m happy to be here. We checked out the course yesterday and this morning and were very surprised and happy to see what we found. Besides, it’s very nice to get some sun on our skin again.” Frodeno, also known as “the GOAT,” (greatest of all time) is hoping for an exciting race. “Over a short distance like 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.”

‘We’re going to learn this on the fly’

Sanders thinks the same way and feels that Challenge Miami is going to be a very different race than Challenge Daytona 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.”

‘I love being chased’

In the women’s race there are some big fireworks expected as well, mostly between Lucy Charles-Barclay and Paula Findlay. Everyone predicts Charles-Barclay will get out of the water bike 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.”

Findlay – who has won Challenge Daytona twice – is very aware of Charles-Barclay’s strategy: “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.”

Hot and humid

Both women look forward to the race and are talking about the hot, humid conditions. “We really need to pay a lot of attention to our nutrition,” Findlay explains. “I don’t feel fully prepared to the heat, but I do think the wind will give a nice cooling effect.”

After the press conference which also included Ben Hoffmann, Timothy O’Donnell, Meredith Kessler and Sarah Crowley, everyone agreed that Challenge Miami will be quite a show. “I’m pretty sure the strongest athlete will rise the top,” said Hoffmann. For O’Donnell it’s not just about racing. “That’s my tip to everyone: enjoy the journey and every moment of it.”