The PTO has announced the PTO Tour, a global series of pro triathlon events complete with age-group races and a $5.5 million prize purse.
Each PTO Tour event will feature a massive $1 million pro prize purse, far in excess of any other triathlon events including the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Championships. The events will be held over a 100km distance with a 2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run, a distance that’s designed to balance the weighting of disciplines a little and provide high-octane speed.
“Established professional sports have long been organised around a professional tour – now it’s triathlon’s turn to step into the limelight,” said PTO CEO Sam Renouf. “We are thrilled to grow our racing calendar from one event in 2021 to three in 2022, with plans already in place to offer a complete world tour calendar in 2023.”
As well as giving the pro sport a massive boost, the PTO has maintained one of triathlon’s greatest and most inspirational strengths – that the age groupers have the chance to race on the same course as their professional heroes. There will be the same 100km middle-distance race as the pros on offer as well as a shorter 25km sprint distance along with single-sport events.
The PTO is also promising world-class coverage for each event, giving fans the chance to see triathlon through the lens of a high production value broadcast.
Renouf continued: “Our athletes have some of the most compelling stories in sport and we were delighted to give them an ongoing platform to showcase their talents and bring the sport of triathlon to centre stage through world-class TV broadcasts”.
2022 PTO Tour
The 2022 PTO Tour will consist of the PTO Canadian Open, which will be hosted by the city of Edmonton in Alberta on 23-24 July. Edmonton has a rich triathlon history having played host to many top tier World Triathlon events over the years.
Next up is the Collins Cup on 20-21 August. The second edition of this Ryder Cup-inspired event remains in Slovakia, though plans remain to rotate the event around the three team regions: USA, Europe and Internationals. The Collins Cup will also feature a $1.5 million prize purse.
The final stop for 2022 will be the PTO US Open in Dallas, Texas, on 17-18 September. Like, the Canadian Open, the US Open will feature a gargantuan $1 million prize purse.
Adding in the PTO’s end-of-year bonus pool and the organisation will be putting up $5.5 million for its athletes next year.
On a recent edition of the IM Talk podcast, PTO CEO Sam Renouf confirmed that there would be 40 slots at each Open event for the top 40 athletes in the PTO World Rankings, with an additional five wildcard slots.
Double Olympic Gold medallist and PTO Athlete Board member, Alistair Brownlee, said: “It is great to see the PTO Tour come together… It’s a fantastic opportunity for professional triathletes to raise their profile through global TV coverage and win some meaningful prize money.
“The PTO is showing that by having professional Triathletes working together and having an equal interest in the success of the Tour, the sport can continue to gain in popularity and reach new audiences”.
Levelling Up Triathlon
The PTO Tour calendar is non-competitive with Ironman’s 2022 world championship events, with the 2021 Ironman World Championship taking place in May ’22, Kona set for 6 and 8 October and the 70.3 worlds scheduled for 28-29 October.
This means athletes will have their pick of the sport’s biggest, most prestigious events without having to split their loyalties – highlighting the PTO’s mission to elevate the whole sport.
A big part of that goal is to promote the athletes themselves and there’s no better way to do that than getting all the world’s best together for a massive showdown. And with this much prize money at stake, the PTO is sure to secure the strongest professional fields on the planet.
“Triathlon will grow and thrive by having the best athletes competing against one another and delivering this in an engaging broadcast format,” said PTO Vice Chairman, Chris Kermode. “Sport is about storytelling and creating an emotional connection between fans and athletes.
“The PTO Tour, by investing in the promotion of the PTO professionals and producing compelling global broadcasts that tell their stories, can catapult the sport of triathlon into the mainstream of the sporting world”.
Age Group Event Entry
Age group registration opens on 25 January, with 100km and 25km race distances on offer. The PTO has suggested that entry costs will be significantly lower than Ironman events, rewarding the sport’s most avid fans with awesome race experiences as well as the chance to spectate the pro races.
Head over to the PTO Events website to stay in the loop for entries.