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It's a False Start for the PTO European Open

PTO in hot water, NCAA championships, and are you getting enough protein


Good morning everyone,

I had a hard swim training session this morning, and my arms are still aching as I type this newsletter in the evening. Maybe it’s from the typing? 🤔

No…definitely the swim!

In today’s edition:

  • 🥶 Major PTO announcement backfires.

  • 🎓 The NCAA Championships are this weekend.

  • 💪 And are you getting enough protein?

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


PTO in Hot Water for European Championships Announcement


What happened: Earlier this week the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) announced that their 2024 flagship professional tour would once again feature the European Open, to be held in Ibiza, Spain on September 28-29.

  • They also announced that the event, which features an age-group race, that the European Open would act as a continental championship, which would mean amateurs and pros could be crowned European Champions.

  • However, it appears the PTO jumped the gun with their announcement, as the European Triathlon Union (World Triathlon affiliate) quickly released a clarifying statement.

“In regards to the Continental Championships, the negotiations are still to be finalized and we hope to reach an agreement in the coming weeks, therefore no European Championship title should be awarded by PTO at this stage.”

A developing relationship: Back in August, World Triathlon and the PTO made headlines when they announced a partnership that would recognize the PTO Tour as the official World Championship tour of long-distance triathlon.

  • The partnership would include qualification for Age-Group Championships through World Triathlon’s existing process, and service provision from WT including anti-doping, technical support, and marketing collaboration.

Turf battle: The issue may come down to competing interests. According to an Endurance.biz release, European Triathlon President Renato Bertrandi stated:

“…at present, for the 2024 season, our European Championship for Elite and AG on middle distance will be staged in the Multisport Festival that will take place in June 2024.”

The emergence of Multisport Festivals has generally been a success for organizers, as many events, including aquathlon, duathlon, cross triathlons (offroad), and long-distance tri’s, can be held in one location.

  • The many-races-within-a-smaller-footprint allows more opportunities for athletes to compete.

  • And with the added prestige of a national and/or continental championship designation, it’s a huge value-add for a potential race organizer.

Tempo’s take: In the vein of a Silicon Valley disruptor, the PTO is hoping that by moving fast and [announcing] things, it will generate hype and build a market for its product.

  • But unlike Uber, they’ve also decided to cozy up with the regulators. And given that the ETU is an extension of World Triathlon, they will most likely have to backtrack on the “European Championships of long-distance” promise.

Our solution? Host the Multisport festival alongside the PTO race like they did last year!

Are you excited for the PTO Tour next year?

What are your thoughts on the triathlon start up

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


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▶️ Beginner program: Are you just starting your triathlon journey? Or trying to get back into the sport after time away? You don’t have to go crazy, just four workouts a week can be a great starting point! [Taren's MōTTIV Method]

💪 Protein watch: Protein helps build muscle, make critical enzymes and hormones, and support immune system function. But are athletes, especially older ones, getting enough of this critical nutrient? [My Sports Science]

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😮 Incredible resilience: In 2018, Mhlengi Gwala was brutally attacked which resulted in him losing one of his legs. After an incredible recovery, he now dreams of competing for South Africa at next year’s Paralympic Games. [The Daily Tri]

📈 Overcoming adversity: It hasn’t been an easy year for Olympic silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown. The British superstar opens up about how she used triathlon to escape a toxic home life, and recovering from a recent career-threatening injury. [Super League Triathlon]

*Sponsored post.


Just getting on the bike is going to make you feel weak.” 😂


2023 NCAA Women’s Triathlon Championships

Thomas Fernandez

What is it: This weekend is the women’s NCAA Triathlon National Championships, which is being held at Arizona State University. The host Sun Devils are also hoping to defend their title and take their eighth-straight national title.

  • According to USA Triathlon, more than 30 teams will compete for Division I, Division II, and Division III titles.

  • The athletes will compete over the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) and in the draft-legal format.

Background: In 2014 Women’s Triathlon was introduced as an NCAA emerging sport and is now nearing the threshold to becoming a full NCAA sport. 

The races: On November 11th the athletes will dive into Tempe Town Lake in two separate races.

  • The first race is made up of higher-ranked individuals and larger DI and DII schools.

  • The second features lower-ranked individuals, and smaller programs from DI, DII, and DIII schools.

  • The National Championship results from each division and individuals are then separated.

DI contenders: In the team competition, it will be an absolute battle between the juggernaut from ASU and perennial contenders, Queens University of Charlotte. Last year it came down to the wire, with ASU narrowly taking the title over Queens. The University of Denver and the University of San Francisco will no doubt be battling for the podium.

  • Individually, last year’s champion Amber Schlebusch (ASU) will be looking for a second crown, but Denver’s Maia Carreau and Queens’ Beth Cook and Sam McInnes will put plenty of pressure on the defending champion.

DII contenders: Lenoir-Rhyne University, the defending champions, are favored, but will have stiff competition from Wingate University who finished third at the 2022 National Championships. Colorado Mesa University could upset if either of the top two falter.

  • Last year's champion, Julia Kekkonnen of Wingate, will look to defend her title against rivals Eliska Rihova and Sabrina Fleig of Lenoir-Rhyne, and Shannon Feran of Colorado Mesa University.

DIII contenders: North Central College returns as a four-time National Champion, with Trine University looking to provide a serious challenge. Hailey Poe of NCC will look to defend her title from last year.

Go deeper: Coach JT Rogers put together two great deep dives into this weekend’s championship.

Tempo’s take: It’s been incredible to observe the growth of NCAA Triathlon from its inception in 2015. USA Triathlon has done an incredible job creating momentum and opportunities for so many young women.

Longer term, it will be interesting to see the further growth of the sport when it eventually becomes a full NCAA sport.

  • And we’ll keep our eyes on the burgeoning I-10 rivalry between powerhouse Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona. Elite coach Wes Johnson was hired earlier this year to grow the U of A program and we expect there to be an influx of talent heading to Tucson in the next few years.

Get a great education and train in one of the best places in the U.S.? Shouldn’t be too hard to recruit with that!


Nationals update: USA Triathlon has released their 2024 National Championships schedule which includes events like the Winter Triathlon Nationals (Breckenridge, CO) and Olympic/Sprint distance Nationals (Atlantic City). [USA Triathlon]

Multitalented: Paralympic Champion Alexis Hanquinquant (FRA) showed his multisport chops by completing the recent New York City marathon in 3h46’. [Lequipe]

Giving back: Olympic medalist Jonny Brownlee visited with children at Cottingly Village Primary school to help inspire participation in sport. [The Telegraph and Argus]

Lake Logan no more: After 17 years the Lake Logan triathlon - one of the most beloved in the southeast - has been discontinued. [Smoky Mountain News]

The ol’ college tri: Northern Kentucky University will add women’s triathlon to its varsity program for the 2024-25 academic year. [Cincinnati.com]


Ironman 70.3 Melbourne

Women’s race: Amelia Watkinson (NZ) is the heavy favourite for this one but Lotte Wilms (NED) and Natalie Van Couverdon (AUS) could play spoiler. 

Men’s race: Steve McKenna (AUS) is the returning champion, but he’ll have an absolute battle on his hands with the entry of Olympic medalist, Hayden Wilde (NZ).

World Triathlon Cup - Vina Del Mar, Chile

Women’s race: It’s an American invasion in Chile as Katie Zaferes, Gwen Jorgenson and Gina Sereno are the top-ranked athletes looking to make their mark on the podium, and earn their place on the start line for next year’s Olympic qualifying races.

Men’s race: It’s a rematch of the Pan American Games with medalists Miguel Hidalgo (BRA) and Crisanto Grajales (MEX) both up for a rematch. But will the addition of Henri Schoeman (RSA) keep the breakaway up the road?


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