Paula Findlay wins the PTO 2020 Championship with a complete swim, bike, run performance to prove herself the best in Daytona once again.
The PTO 2020 Championship women’s race proved to be just as exciting and dynamic as hoped with plenty of action from the cannon blast at the start of the swim to Canada’s Paula Findlay crossing the line first to be crowned the first-ever PTO Champion.
As predicted, Lucy Hall (GBR) led the swim with Lauren Brandon (USA) holding her feet for most of the first lap. By the Australian Exit at 1km, the Brit dived back into the water with a handful of seconds on the American, who was just a body’s length ahead of a pack led by Fenella Langridge (GBR).
That second group also contained Lisa Norden (SWE) and pre-race favourite Holly Lawrence (GBR), who was 13 seconds down on Hall with double Olympic medallist Nicola Spirig (SUI) and defending Challenge Daytona Champion Paula Findlay (CAN) for company.
During the second lap, the pace seemed to be felt throughout the field with Hall and Brandon pulling further away across Lake Lloyd. By the end of the 2km swim, Hall dashed from the water with an eight-second buffer to Branden, Langridge another 30 seconds back and Lawrence leading the next group another 10 seconds behind.
After a swift transition, Hall headed out onto the speedway and managed to keep her lead for the first 23km before a fast-moving Findlay – seventh at the start of the bike – overtook on lap six. Lisa Norden (SWE) was the other big mover early on, quickly moving up to second behind the Canadian.
While the race started to settle down at the front, those behind in the swim began to come through with Ironman World Champion Anne Haug (GER), Amelia Watkinson (NZL) and Laura Philipp (GER) all starting to move up. Meanwhile the fastest biker on the course was Kimberly Morrison (GBR), who started 2:45 down but was powering through the field.
At the head of the race, Norden was really upping the watts, moving into first with Findlay sticking closely behind to take their lead to Hall past 90 seconds. Morrison also kept pushing to make time, edging her way into a podium place by lap 16.
Findlay and Norden swapped the lead a few times in the last couple of laps with Norden overtaking one last time just before transition to cross the dismount line in first place.
Between Findlay and Norden, the Canadian defending champion certainly looked the more fluid off the bike, a fast transition putting her into the lead at the start of the run. Morrison came into T2 third, 2:06 back, with Hall fourth, 3:02 behind. Pamella Oliveira (BRA) was another 30 seconds back followed by Brandon.
Meanwhile, Haug was up to seventh, 4:01 down, but with news that she would have a two-minute drafting penalty to serve – the first of her career. This meant 120 seconds readying herself for the chase while other athletes slipped past. As soon as the race official let Haug go, she set off at what looked like a flat-out sprint.
Up ahead, Findlay looked fast and composed, quickly extending her lead with 6:05 mile pace. Lawrence and Philipp were also running fast up the order. Soon Haug ran past a walking Norden, who’d come into the race with an injury and left it in tears.
At that point, Morrison and Phillip were set to take up steps two and three on the podium, Findlay long gone with a four-minute lead. As the Canadian’s advantage continued to increase, Philipp took second as Morrison slipped back.
Soon enough, Philipp’s compatriot Haug was on her heels having overtaken the rest of the field. Whether a grin or a grimace, Philipp acknowledged Haug’s approach, but couldn’t keep with the speed after the pass mid-way through lap two. That just left Findlay out front and the German running out of road to make the catch.
In the end, it was a comfortable win for the defending Challenge Daytona champion, one representative of her impressive swim, sensational bike and utterly controlled run. Emotions pouring out as she hit the red carpet with over three minutes’ advantage to Haug, Findlay took the tape to be crowned the first-ever PTO Champion in a time of 3:24:55.
Haug came in 2:36 later, enough of a deficit to ensure the penalty didn’t affect the overall standings. Philipp crossed the line 5:05 behind Findlay to round out the podium and prove she’s world-class performer.
Behind them, Lawrence was best of the rest, finishing in 3:31:09 ahead of Amelia Watkinson in fifth.
PTO 2020 Championship Women’s Race Results
|1||Paula Findlay||CAN||00:25:01||01:51:13||01:06:25||03:24:55||US$ 100,000|
|2||Anne Haug||GER||00:25:55||01:54:26||01:05:01||03:27:32||US$ 70,000|
|3||Laura Philipp||GER||00:26:55||01:53:11||01:07:23||03:30:00||US$ 50,000|
|4||Holly Lawrence||GBR||00:24:58||01:55:38||01:08:26||03:31:09||US$ 35,000|
|5||Amelia Watkinson||NZL||00:25:57||01:55:06||01:08:38||03:31:50||US$ 30,000|
|6||Skye Moench||USA||00:26:04||01:54:18||01:09:44||03:32:30||US$ 25,000|
|7||Fenella Langridge||GBR||00:24:54||01:55:17||01:11:10||03:33:42||US$ 23,000|
|8||Sara Svensk||SWE||00:26:52||01:54:10||01:11:06||03:35:00||US$ 20,000|
|9||Elisabetta Curridori||ITA||00:27:43||01:56:32||01:08:17||03:35:07||US$ 18,000|
|10||Nicola Spirig||SUI||00:24:59||01:59:42||01:08:23||03:35:11||US$ 17,000|
|11||Alissa Doehla||USA||00:26:10||01:58:35||01:07:33||03:35:17||US$ 15,000|
|12||Emma Pallant||GBR||00:25:59||01:57:01||01:09:51||03:35:47||US$ 13,000|
|13||Kimberley Morrison||GBR||00:26:53||01:51:24||01:15:55||03:36:31||US$ 11,000|
|14||Manon Genet||FRA||00:27:15||01:56:54||01:10:01||03:36:35||US$ 10,000|
|15||Jodie Stimpson||GBR||00:24:59||02:00:39||01:08:48||03:36:38||US$ 9,000|
|16||Nikki Bartlett||GBR||00:27:47||01:54:14||01:12:47||03:37:14||US$ 8,000|
|17||Jeanni Seymour||RSA||00:25:00||01:58:43||01:11:18||03:37:23||US$ 7,000|
|18||India Lee||GBR||00:25:29||01:56:15||01:13:49||03:37:58||US$ 6,000|
|19||Jackie Hering||USA||00:26:49||01:55:58||01:12:51||03:38:19||US$ 5,000|
|20||Heather Jackson||USA||00:29:11||01:55:51||01:11:35||03:38:41||US$ 4,000|
|21||Judith Corachan Vaquera||ESP||00:26:14||01:57:20||01:12:44||03:38:46||US$ 2,500|
|22||Lesley Smith||USA||00:27:21||02:02:16||01:06:39||03:39:20||US$ 2,500|
|23||Carrie Lester||AUS||00:26:03||01:55:38||01:14:37||03:39:42||US$ 2,500|
|24||Sarah Crowley||AUS||00:26:02||01:56:57||01:14:56||03:40:33||US$ 2,500|
|25||Emma Bilham||SUI||00:26:24||01:59:02||01:12:50||03:41:00||US$ 2,500|
|26||Pamella Oliveira||BRA||00:25:03||01:54:40||01:19:02||03:41:05||US$ 2,500|
|27||Lauren Brandon||USA||00:24:24||01:55:32||01:18:49||03:41:17||US$ 2,500|
|28||Lucy Hall||GBR||00:24:16||01:55:07||01:20:45||03:42:18||US$ 2,500|
|29||Danielle Lewis||USA||00:32:20||01:55:19||01:13:13||03:43:08||US$ 2,500|
|30||Gurutze Frades Larralde||ESP||00:31:10||01:59:06||01:10:17||03:43:28||US$ 2,500|
|31||Renee Kiley||AUS||00:29:12||01:54:21||01:17:58||03:44:40||US$ 2,500|
|32||Rach McBride||CAN||00:27:43||01:56:52||01:17:26||03:44:58||US$ 2,500|
|33||Amelie Kretz||CAN||00:25:25||02:01:52||01:16:37||03:46:07||US$ 2,500|
|34||Lisa Becharas||USA||00:27:47||01:57:14||01:19:00||03:46:52||US$ 2,500|
|35||Jennifer Spieldenner||USA||00:25:23||02:01:02||01:19:13||03:48:12||US$ 2,500|
|36||Michelle Vesterby||DEN||00:26:55||01:58:52||01:19:59||03:48:47||US$ 2,500|
|37||Kelsey Withrow||USA||00:25:56||02:00:24||01:19:37||03:48:47||US$ 2,500|
|38||Agnieszka Jerzyk||POL||00:26:57||02:04:15||01:17:50||03:51:24||US$ 2,500|
|39||Kristin Liepold||GER||00:35:22||02:08:23||01:09:20||03:57:24||US$ 2,500|
|40||Angela Naeth||CAN||00:30:57||01:59:42||01:24:56||03:58:21||US$ 2,500|
Related: What Is The PTO?