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A year ago, in one of the first big returns to racing, Jan Frodeno recovered from visa delays to take the title in Miami. A lot has changed since then. Challenge in the U.S. is now Clash, Frodo isn’t racing in Florida, and we’re (fingers crossed) headed into the first full season of real racing we’ve had in a long time.
But what’s stayed the same is that some of the best pros are headed to a racetrack in Miami to kick off their year. And the whole Clash Miami event will be streamed live starting at 9:45 a.m. ET tomorrow, March 11.
The Clash Miami Course
While many of us may have first been introduced to the racetrack-style concept at Challenge Daytona, the idea here is the same (a race entirely inside the stadium) but the execution is very different. As opposed to flat circles around a track, the Miami course also utilizes the roads that make up the infield in addition to the smooth racetrack—meaning the riders will be constantly twisting and turning.
After a 1,700m two-lap swim in the pond inside the interior of the racetrack, the pros will cover 17 laps on the bike (that’s a lot of turns!) for just over 40 miles. It’s then the run that is non-technical, with seven simple loops on the outside of the racetrack for a total of 10.5 miles before the in-stadium finish line.
One factor to consider: The weather in Florida is welcomed by many this time of year, but with the later start times and highs around 80 degrees F, not to mention the potential for humidity, it may take some athletes who were hibernating all winter by surprise.
Who to Watch
Yes, the season is officially underway now. There are over 75 pros competing tomorrow for their share of $50,000. Some stayed in the Sunshine State after coming for the Couples Championship last weekend, some are using Miami to tune-up for longer distance races in the next month, and some are just here to win.
On the women’s side, Emma Pallant-Browne and Chelsea Sodaro are the class runners of the bunch. Both win consistently (and lose rarely) at this distance. Spanish swimmer Sara Perez-Sala will likely be first out of the water, however, and look to hold on. And Australian short-course star Ashleigh Gentle is officially moving her career into the mid-distance phase—and will be looking to make up for being kept out of last weekend’s couples race after her partner, Josh Amberger, was detained at the airport and sent home. Don’t count out Dede Griesbauer either. See the full list here.
For the men, it’s a massive field. With over 40 athletes planning to line up, positioning on such a winding course will be key. Olympian Ben Kanute will likely be dominant from the get-go, but bike powerhouses Sam Long and Andrew Starykowicz should make up some of that gap before the run. Tyler Butterfield, Chris Leiferman, Jackson Laundry, Sam Appleton, Magnus Ditlev, and Andreas Dreitz should form a strong pack too, and it may just come down to a slugfest to the finish line. And don’t count out Canadian Matthew Sharpe, who may be flying under the radar right now. See the full list here.
How to Watch Clash Miami
When Challenge in the U.S. rebranded as Clash Endurance, two of the things they stuck with were the racetrack festival-style events, which will be expanding around the country, and the high-production broadcasts built on a history of NASCAR TV in the venues.
So it’s no surprise that a full broadcast, with commentators, standings, and graphics, is expected tomorrow. The live stream will run for six hours on the Clash Miami Facebook page starting at 9:45 a.m. ET. The pro women go off at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow, March 11, with the pro men following at 1 p.m. ET. (While the pros race on Friday, age-group races follow throughout the rest of the weekend.)
If you miss it or if you just love rewatching triathlon on mainstream TV, the event will also be televised in the U.S. on FS1 (FOX Sports One) on Thursday, March 17 during primetime.