London, UK: The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) has announced that Ibiza will host the first staging of the PTO European Open on 6 May as part of its 2023 PTO Tour calendar.
The PTO European Open will feature a women’s and men’s 100km race (2km swim; 80km bike; 18km run) that will take place in Ibiza Town, set against the island’s idyllic Balearic backdrop and co-hosted alongside the 2023 World Triathlon Multisport Championships. The two PTO races will be broadcast live around the world to 170+ territories, courtesy of the PTO Tour’s partnerships with Warner Bros. Discovery and a series of other regional and national broadcasters.
Commenting on the news, PTO CEO Sam Renouf said: “We’re excited to confirm that Ibiza will host the inaugural PTO European Open and kick off the 2023 PTO Tour. It continues the expansion of the PTO Tour and our journey to different continents, courses and climates and will be a fantastic way to start the season.”
The experience for the athlete will be unique as the circuit will pass through the most iconic places of the island. The swim will take place at Figueretas Beach, the traditional swim course for triathlon events in Ibiza. After finishing the swim, the athletes will go into the transition area to start the bike towards San Antonio, a multiple laps bike course will come back to Figueretas Beach for the second transition. The first part of the run goes past Ibiza Port and from there the laps will take the athletes into the World Heritage area of the city. It is an exciting course that will showcase Ibiza with a finish area at Plaza del Martillo, in the heart of the city.
“In the Spanish Triathlon Federation we are very pleased with this agreement that will enable the PTO to hold their races in our country, in Ibiza, one of the events of its global PTO Tour calendar,” said José Hidalgo, president of the Spanish Triathlon Federation. “We believe that this type of alliance also serves to make triathlon bigger.”
In addition, Hidalgo stressed that: “Spain has always been a pioneer country and we have always believed that the association of all the actors and organizers of this sport is paramount to make it bigger and more important. This agreement, with the celebration in Ibiza of one of the events of the PTO Tour is undoubtedly in keeping with that. In short, it is great news for the Triathlon world and great news for Spanish Triathlon.”
World Triathlon President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado, said: “After the great experience of last year in Samorin, we are delighted to partner again with the PTO to work together on an event that will be a great spectacle for all the athletes and spectators as well as for Ibiza and the island. The partnership with the PTO is just natural for us, and it is great to see many of the world’s very best long-distance triathletes in action in this type of combined event, offering the athletes multiple opportunities to race. We are all ready to offer all the athletes the best experience possible and to make Ibiza an unforgettable event for all.”
Following the news that Jan Frodeno is targeting the race, the German great said: “I was excited to announce that my first-ever PTO Open race will be the new PTO European Open in Ibiza, which sounds like a fantastic race in a great venue.”
Spanish triathletes were also very happy with the news that Ibiza will host the PTO European Open. “First time in Europe and first time at home. I’m sure it will be an amazing experience and a unique opportunity for all Spanish fans to see live the best long distance triathletes in the world,” said Pablo Dapena, while for Sara Pérez Sala commented: “That a race of the level of the PTO is in Ibiza is a real blast. It will be a home race with a public devoted to the Spaniards who compete – and there will be many people cheering. Personally, it makes me very excited because it is a trip close to home, a place that I have long wanted to go and a place where I hope to spend a few weeks training to familiarize myself with the circuits and to prepare for the race.”
2023 PTO Tour Updates
Following a recent PTO Athlete Board meeting, the PTO has also made some other changes to its PTO Open races in 2023. The PTO European and US Opens will focus on the top 30 women and men, who qualify from the PTO World Rankings; whilst the already-announced PTO Asian Open will feature the world’s top 20 female and male athletes. The prize fund for the PTO Opens in 2023 will be $600,000 USD per event – with $100,000 for the winner, $50,000 for second and $35,000 for third – making each event still the most lucrative in the sport over this distance. The $2 million prize fund for the PTO World Rankings will now be split between the top 50 female and male athletes.
“Establishing a more regular consistency of ‘world championship level’ events is imperative to grow the sport through TV audiences, media coverage and sponsor opportunities for our athletes,” explained Renouf. “So we needed to think carefully about how we kept the momentum of the first season going as we simultaneously work on plans to establish more of a season-long schedule and narrative for the Tour in 2024 and beyond. We believe the steps we are taking in 2023 to increase the number of races and spotlight the very best athletes, whilst balancing prize funds, will help ensure we continue to grow in a sustainable way.”
“Looking back at how the PTO Tour races panned out last year and then our post-season discussions with athletes, broadcasters and other key stakeholders, it was clear that the best athletes going head-to-head creates the most compelling race narratives. Whether that was Gustav and Kristian at the men’s PTO Canadian Open or Ashleigh Gentle, Paula Findlay and Chelsea Sodaro in the women’s race. Those athletes were all in the top 20 of the rankings. A similar picture emerged in Dallas at the PTO US Open with Ashleigh pipping Taylor and Lucy. Even if some were surprised by the success of Collin Chartier over Magnus and Sam [Long], he was still #28 in the PTO World Rankings going into the race.”
PTO Athlete Board members Skye Moench and Alistair Brownlee were quick to voice their support.
“The PTO Athlete Board was unanimous in approving these changes for the 2023 season,” said Moench. “While we understand the changes may not be popular amongst all athletes, we also understand the context of the changes and the direction the PTO is trying to go. We also appreciate the need to grow the PTO Tour and go to different markets, which sometimes means compromising on different elements like the number of athletes racing or the prize money.”
“I want to see more people watching top level long distance Triathlon, being inspired by seeing the top athletes racing. It’s crucial that the PTO Tour succeeds. We need to be focusing on the very best racing and stories on a consistent basis,” said Brownlee. “I’m convinced that the PTO Tour’s success is Triathlon’s success. It’s tough to create something new but ultimately it will benefit every Triathlete.”
The 2023 PTO Tour will start in Ibiza on 6 May with the inaugural PTO European Open before going to Milwaukee on 4-5 August for the PTO US Open and then to Singapore for the first-ever PTO Asian Open on 19-20 August. The final date for the 2023 PTO Tour season will be announced in due course.
For Further Information
Professional Triathletes Organisation
Anthony Scammell E: [email protected]
About the Professional Triathletes Organisation
The PTO is a new body co-owned by the professional athletes, seeking to elevate and grow the sport of Triathlon and take it to the next level. Each PTO Open is raced over 100km (2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run). The 2023 PTO Tour will start in Ibiza on 6 May with the inaugural PTO European Open before going to Milwaukee on 4-5 August for the PTO US Open and then to Singapore for the first-ever PTO Asian Open on 19-20 August. The final date for the 2023 PTO Tour season will be announced in due course. All the races will all be underpinned by the new PTO World Rankings, helping to create a compelling season-long narrative in the sport for the first time.
About World Triathlon
World Triathlon is the international governing body for the Olympic and Paralympic sport of triathlon and all related multisport disciplines around the world, including duathlon, aquathlon, cross triathlon and winter triathlon. Triathlon made its Olympic debut in Sydney 2000, with a third medal event, the Mixed Team Relay, added to the programme at Tokyo 2020, while para triathlon was first added to the Paralympic programme at Rio 2016. World Triathlon is proudly committed to the development of the sport worldwide, with inclusion, equality, sustainability and transparency at our core as we seek to help triathletes at all levels of the sport to be extraordinary. www.triathlon.org