PTO European Open Promises Races for the Generations
Ibiza: Giving their final thoughts going into tomorrow’s inaugural PTO European Open in Ibiza, the world’s best triathletes did not hold back.
First up was Norwegian PTO World #1 Kristian Blummenfelt, who will be racing five-time German World Champion Jan Frodeno for the very first time.
“I’ve been looking forward to this race for 10 years,” said Blummenfelt. “He [Jan] was like the top of the sport when I was figuring out what Triathlon was all about. When I started Googling Triathlon, he was crossing the finish line in Beijing [Olympics 2008].”
Frodeno responded by highlighting that it was a race for the generations: “I mean, it is cool because we have the two generations, but we also have the third one in the middle. Alistair [Brownlee] is the third guy in the circle. It’s always cool to race him. I hope he’s in shape and healthy because he always makes any race interesting.”
Warming to the fact the three of them have never appeared in the same race before, the triathlete widely acknowledged as the G.O.A.T of the sport, said: “Yeah, you try and kick each other’s heads in on Saturday and afterwards will shake hands and go for a pizza together. It’s unique in the sport [of Triathlon]. You never find that in boxing or [other] sports…there is always a friendly rivalry and you know, we all want to push each other to the best and get the most out of each other and it’s certainly super competitive. It’s a unique vibe, I think.”
On the setting in Ibiza, Blummenfelt added: “I think it’s always great to get to new locations. I really like the [run] course. It’s a very compact, six and a half laps downtown, flat, fast and the bike course is a simple up and back.”
Frodeno was also forthright when asked about Collin Chartier’s recent anti-doping rule violation (ADRV):
“It is the first time I’m filmed reacting to this and, like, it makes my blood boil, like I lost my shit. Not only because of the fact that he took EPO, but the statement is such a blatant, bullshit lie where I’m like, there’s nothing congruent about the statement and there is nothing that’s got any sense of backbone to this. The apology is completely without any consequence.”
The women’s race pits eight of the world’s top ten PTO World Ranked athletes against each other, led by PTO World #1 Australian Ashleigh Gentle. She said: “I think it’s really exciting to have the first PTO European event. I think that it’s great that we’ve expanded from the US and Canada and I’m waiting for one in Australia…”
The pre-eminent athlete of her generation, Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf, said: “I think it [the line up] makes it interesting for the fans…to watch the athletes race face-to-face. It brings out the best of the athletes, but also, of course, it makes it interesting to watch because you never know who’s going to win.”
There are lots more pre-race thoughts on the course and the battles ahead from Blummenfelt, Frodeno, Gentle and Ryf here – as well as build-up from Britain’s Lucy Charles Barclay, America’s Chelsea Sodaro and Canada’s Paula Findlay.
Fans in Europe and the Indian Subcontinent can watch the PTO European Open exclusively via Eurosport, Discovery+ or GCN+. Coverage starts from 0800 CET with the men’s race off at 0815 and the women going at 0945. Those in the rest of the world can watch for free and ad-free on PTO+, via a selection of TV broadcasters or on YouTube in selected territories. More details here.
For the first time, the PTO will be giving fans a rich second-screen experience with a new Live Race Dashboard featuring live race data and live blogging. The Live Race Dashboard’s leaderboard will be updated throughout the PTO European Open showing athletes’ positions, latest time splits, paces and more. Meanwhile the PTO’s award-winning social team will be providing on-the-ground live blogging to keep fans up to date with the latest race stories.
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