- The Tempo
- Blockbuster PTO Tour Revealed
Blockbuster PTO Tour Revealed
A new era for triathlon, big athlete signing, and the sweet spot of caffeine?
Good morning everyone,
Well, after driving for 13 hours yesterday from Colorado to Arizona, one would think it would be pretty tough to sit down and write this newsletter. But there are so many huge newsworthy events going on in the sport right now that it makes it quite easy!
In today’s edition:
🤯 Blockbuster PTO Tour race schedule revealed.
🚲 Why pro triathlete Mark Dubrick loves his team (and crazy fast new bike!)
☕ Plus: Is there a “right” amount of caffeine?
Thanks for being here.
-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor
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ONE BIG THING
Professional Triathletes Organization Releases Long-Awaited Race Schedule
Start-up series releases schedule, rebrands, and signs major athletes
What is it: The Professional Triathletes Organization - a major triathlon start-up founded by athletes and backed by investors - has finally released its 2024 race schedule.
The series has eight scheduled races, Miami, Singapore, London, Ibiza, Lake Las Vegas, and Dubai are six of the confirmed locations.
“California” and the “Grand Final” are the remaining two awaiting full confirmation.
Incredible athletes: Each event will feature a consistent lineup of the top 20 men and top 20 women in the world, as well as headlining wildcard selections at each event.
Top women confirmed include reigning Ironman World Champion, Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), multiple PTO champion Ashleigh Gentle, PTO US Open Champion Taylor Knibb (USA), Paula Findlay (CAN), and current #1 ranked Anne Haug (GER).
The men’s field will be highlighted by current Ironman World Champion Sam Laidlow (FRA), Challenge Roth Champion Magnus Ditlev (DEN), Jason West (USA), Sam Long (USA), and double Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee (GBR).
Major rebrand: The PTO also took the opportunity to rebrand the series from the PTO Tour to the newly-created T100 Triathlon World Tour.
The rebrand is in part due to their partnership with World Triathlon which will which designate it as ‘the official World Championship tour of long distance triathlon.’
CEO says: PTO CEO Sam Renouf on the mainstream appeal of the T100 Tour “This was the right moment for us to introduce a more consumer-facing brand…This will create more opportunities to attract new host cities, commercial sponsors, and engage amateurs and mass participants who we will be performing at each of our stops this year.”
Tempo’s take: The PTO said they’d have a complete schedule by October 2023, so was it worth the wait?
The schedule is ambitious, the athletes are (pretty much) the best of the best, and the money involved is unlike anything the sport has seen before. But announcing a world-class series, and delivering a world-class series, are certainly not the same thing.
Typically, when Formula One, the Premier League, or the NFL announces their schedules, they have the competition locations locked in. The “Super Bowl” of the T100, the Grand Final, doesn’t have a confirmed location…yet.
In an interview with ProTriNews, the PTO CEO was asked a few fairly straightforward questions about policy and race scenarios to which he had no direct answer…
At the moment it feels like the PTO is trying to land the T100 series plane without any radar, in a crazy snowstorm, and the landing gear is jammed.
But if they can land the plane, and deliver a successful enough series, it will have the potential to take the sport to a new level.
CEO chat: When I raced at last year’s PTO US Open in Milwaukee, I asked Renouf about what he was doing to ensure that the top athletes consistently attend their events. Which was a clear issue at the time.
“We’re working on it,” was his reply.
We now know that all the athletes who have signed on to the T100 Tour will be guaranteed north of six figures for completing the series, never mind the $2 million prize money on offer for the series.
Still, it’s interesting to see the money wasn’t enough for athletes like Olympic gold medalist and PTO race winner Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), or fan favorite Lionel Sanders (CAN). Kona is a hell of a drug.
Will the PTO deliver a successful T100 Tour?
TOGETHER WITH REAL TRIATHLON SQUAD
Mark “The Shark” Dubrick is Fast(er) with Felt Bicycles
Real Triathlon Squad member Mark Dubrick had a breakout 2023 season winning the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon and finishing as the top American at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Mark spoke with us about his new rocket ship, his incredible team, and his massive 2024 goals.
What does signing with Felt Bicycles mean to you?
Felt was the first company to reach out after my breakout performance at the Ironman 70.3 World Champs. The fact that they reached out to me first shows that they believe in my potential and are willing to invest in my future success.
Having a personal relationship with my partners is valuable to me so I’m grateful for all the support and encouragement Felt provides, and it motivates me to push my limits on race day!
What does the Felt brand mean to you, as a triathlete?
It's a game-changer and should allow me to get even faster on the bike. I felt like I reached the limit on my previous bike and was unable to upgrade further. I was in a pickle with not being able to make any more position and gear upgrades.
My new Felt provides me with a much more comfortable ride and a blank canvas to search for every one of those aerodynamic gains and I know I’ll be gaining a lot of free watts!
What bike will you be racing with?
I’ll be riding the Felt IA 2.0. She's a rocket ship 🚀
Frame: Felt IA 2.0 56cm
Wheels: Enve 6.7
Saddles: Bisaddle Saint Pro 3D
Tires: Continental GP5000 TLS
You had a breakout year in 2023, establishing yourself as one of the top American 70.3 athletes. How has being a member of the Real Triathlon Squad helped you achieve this?
Being part of the RTS and having access to its incredible support network played a crucial role in my 2023 results. Traveling and training with friends makes triathlon less lonely and way more enjoyable. I'm technically homeless (I guess the new term is unhoused), but this allows me to live and train wherever.
For example, this year, my teammate Jackson Laundry and I had a few months of training in Font Romeu leading into 70.3 Worlds. I decided to stay in Europe, race a Superleague race, and preview the Ironman Nice course. Afterward, we stayed at fellow teammate Nick Chase's home for a few weeks before our final races of the season. I had the best season of my life but these memories are the ones that will probably stick with me the longest.
What are your big goals for 2024? And where will we be seeing you lining up to start your season? What is your ultimate goal in 2024?
2024 goals are pretty similar to what I did in 2023. I want to train hard, race hard, and keep surrounding myself with fun and driven people.
I should be starting the season off at Challenge Puerto Varas or 70.3 Oceanside.
The ultimate goal for 2024 is to be in contention for the win at the 70.3 World Champs. I believe this will require coming off the bike in the lead group. Lots of work ahead 💪
What is your best advice for amateur athletes looking to make a performance breakthrough?
Consistency is crucial. Establish a routine for your life (family, training, school, social) that is sustainable and aligns with your goals. So don't stress too much when things go wrong - just take a step back, reflect, and see what you can learn. My favorite mantra for this is “It’s all good practice.”
Got a question for Mark? Feel free to reach out and ask him anything on Instagram.
Caffeine pro: Taking caffeine is an easy way to get more out of your training and racing. But what’s the right strategy? In this video Pro triathlete, Ben Kanute talks all things caffeine and performance. Including the “sweet spot” amount most athletes should be taking. [Ben Kanute x The Feed]
Female fueling: There are unique fueling demands for women training and racing triathlons. This guide is full of key female-fueling insights around carbohydrate intake, fluid osmolality, and much more! [Feisty]
Cycling strength: Hoping to build up some cycling strength in the gym this winter? These six exercises will help you level up no matter what level you’re at!
Learn to flip turn: You won’t be doing a flip turn in the open water, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to learn this key aspect of pool swimming. How to start? Don’t actually use a wall! [GTN]
Wearing your Sunday (race morning) best 😂
Held hostage: The TriBike Transport saga - that saw 180 athletes have their bikes held hostage by a shipping company - looks to be resolved. That’s great news for the athletes who will be receiving the bikes they have been missing since September 2023. [NBC]
USAT x The Feed: USA Triathlon has partnered with The Feed, the fast-growing sports nutrition marketplace. Athletes will receive credit to purchase over 800+ athlete-specific products. [The Feed]
Adriatic Triathlon: The Adriatic Triathlon series will once again take place in 2024. The ever-popular race series will start in the Marche region and finish in San Benedetto del Tronto. [Travel Daily Media]
Women’s tri expansion: Charleston-based She Tris Triathlon events announced this week an agreement to purchase and rebrand the NC based all women triathlon events, known as Ramblin’ Rose. [Endurance Sportswire]
TEMPO EXCLUSIVE ARCHIVE
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