The women’s field for the first PTO Canadian Open has been announced and we’re in for some ferocious racing from a stacked start list.
With a veritable who’s who from the upper echelons of the PTO World Rankings set to do battle in Edmonton, the first PTO Canadian Open – which is also the inaugural PTO Tour event – is set to make history on all fronts.
Come Saturday 23 July, not only will the women battle it out for a slice of a whopping $1m prize purse but there’s also a 10% PTO points bonus on offer – a factor that could prove crucial as the event is also the last qualifying race for this year’s Collins Cup. With competition for automatic Collins Cup qualification fierce, expect athletes vying for a spot on Team Europe, Team US and Team International to fight for every place right down the field.
So, who are some of the names you can look forward to seeing at the PTO Canadian Open?
PTO World #2 Laura Philipp of Germany is the highest-ranked athlete set to start but will face tough competition from the likes of the American duo Taylor Knibb (PTO World #6) and Skye Moench (PTO World #7), Britain’s Emma Pallant-Browne (PTO World #8), South Aftrica’s Jeanni Metzler (PTO World #9) and Edmonton hometown hero Paula Findlay (PTO World #10).
And that’s just the top 10! Other in-form contenders at the 100km distance include the USA’s Jackie Hering (PTO World #11) Britain’s Holly Lawrence (PTO World #12), American Chelsea Sodaro (PTO World #17) Canada’s Tamara Jewett (PTO World #18), Spain’s Sara Perez Sala (PTO World #20) and the Aussie one-two of Ellie Salthouse (PTO World #21) and Ashleigh Gentle (PTO World #24).
One other name to keep in mind is PTO World #3 Anne Haug, who’s playing her cards close to her chest ahead of her race at Challenge Roth this weekend. If she does make it to Edmonton, she’s surely one to watch.
In terms of the Collins Cup, the PTO Canadian Open could prompt movement in automatic qualifications, especially for Team US and Team International. With Heather Jackson not racing and Chelsea Sodaro and Jocelyn McCauley (PTO World #19) just a couple of points behind, one of them could nab that fourth qualifying spot for Team US.
For Team International, Jeanni Metzler just needs a race finish to solidifiy her top-place on the team but slots three and four – currently occupied by Tamara Jewett and Ellite Salthouse – could be threatened by strong races from Brazil’s Luisa Baptista (PTO World #23) and Ashleigh Gentle, who are just two points shy apiece.
For Team Europe, things are a little more set with the top four PTO World Ranked athletes holding the same positions for the Collins Cup. With the 10% bonus on offer in Edmonton, an absolutely stellar performance from Emma Pallant-Browne might just oust Kat Matthews but it’s a big ask!
Stay tuned for more on the PTO Canadian Open including the men’s field and wildcard athlete reveals!