Vincent Luis has kicked off two consecutive weekends of long-course racing with a win at Clash Daytona.
The two-time world champion completed the 1.6-kilometre swim, 60-kilometre bike, and 13.2-kilometre run in 2:23:48, staying on the pointy end through most of the race to seal the win with a 24-second gap to his nearest competitor.
Coming out of the water second to Bahrain Victorious 13 teammate Henri Schoeman who took the swim bonus, Luis stayed in the lead group throughout the bike leg held on the Daytona International Speedway race track. Despite a breakaway by Tom Bishop that saw him lead into the bike-to-run transition by a minute, Luis made up the difference on the run to take pole position by the final lap.
Luis said post-race, “I’m really grateful to be here… In 2020 I was in the form of my life and the Olympics got postponed, and in 2021 I got injured just before the Olympics. It was a tough season and then in 2022 I got injured again: I tore my Achilles. As I said in a few interviews, I went to really dark places and winning a race again is just amazing.”
Schoeman held on in the front pack through the bike leg and partway through the run to finish in 14th.
The two athletes now fly to Bahrain for the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship, where they will toe the line alongside Bahrain resident David Plese as well as defending champion Holly Lawrence. This will be the first time the race will be held since 2019, and is also the first time the team has been reunited in the Kingdom since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Jan Frodeno, Alistair Brownlee, Kristian Blummenfelt, Georgia Taylor-Brown, and Cassandre Beaugrand will also be in attendance throughout the week for the team camp, and will participate in the race as part of team relays.