The race featured the top 40 ranked male and female athletes in the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO), all competing for a pro purse of more than $1 million. The event was held at the Daytona International Speedway, on a course that consisted of a 2km swim in Lake Lloyd, an 80km bike (20 laps on a 4km course), and an 18km run (4 laps on a 4.5km course).
With most major triathlon events cancelled this year due to the global pandemic, the sport’s top athletes were focused on Challenge Daytona, which followed special protocols to keep athletes healthy and safe. The event was broadcast live on the PTO website for fans to follow the action.
Iden won on the strength of his run. “I guess I came off the bike in 20th or so and I felt pretty good the first kilometers,” he said. “I just went for it and picked a great day for a great day.”
As the current Ironman 70.3 world champion, the 24-year-old Norwegian came into the race as one of the favorites. “The course couldn’t be more different than what it was at last year’s World Championship in Nice, so I was a bit uncertain on how I would finish in this absolutely stacked race,” said Iden, who wore his Giant Rivet TT helmet on the bike. “Luckily I managed to stay smart on the bike, even when people were flying past me in a desperate attempt to catch the front group. I’m extremely satisfied with how I tackled this race, and to come home with yet another title is unbelievable.”
Also representing Giant, Sam Appleton of Australia finished sixth, showing his strength on his Trinity Advanced Pro with a CADEX WheelSystem with one of the day's top bike split times. “Overall, it was a great day for the team,” said the Australian. “I am really satisfied with sixth place at Challenge Daytona. It was probably one of the most competitive fields ever assembled in a race, so I am really proud of to come away with sixth place. I had a little bit of a poor swim, but I managed to ride really hard and reach the front of the race on the bike, and I fought all the way on the run until the end."