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Triathlon start-up inks mega deal with IRONMAN

Race Ranger and IRONMAN, T100 Tour absences, and the science behind Zone 2 training

Good morning everyone,

The northern hemisphere race season is fast approaching, and we kind of thought the industry news would have slowed a bit by now. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, so let’s get into it!

In today’s edition:

  • 🤑 Triathlon start-up inks huge deal with IRONMAN.

  • 👀 Notable athlete absences mar critical T100 Tour debut.

  • 🚲 And the science behind Zone 2 training.

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

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Race Ranger Inks Incredible Deal with Ironman

Race Ranger

What is it: IRONMAN has announced that it will partner with triathlon start-up, Race Ranger to utilize its electronic drafting detection technology across all 12 IRONMAN Pro Series events in 2024, including the IRONMAN and 70.3 World Championship race.

  • The Race Ranger system uses Bluetooth, 4G/LTE technology, and a system of coloured lights to provide real-time feedback to athletes and referees on whether illegal drafting is occurring.

  • The technology has been proven in many competitions including T100 (previously PTO) Open races, the Paris Paralympic Test event, and the World Triathlon Long Distance World Championships.

Age group implications: Although this partnership is only for the pro series, this sets the stage for an eventual trickle-down to age group competitions. There will need to be a serious improvement in how the technology is deployed as it currently requires the Race Ranger team to physically attach and calibrate the devices individually.

  • But with this kind of partnership, investments will surely be made to materially improve the devices so that applying them to your bike will be as simple as buckling your helmet.

  • When will age group athletes compete with this technology? It may be a few years, but we think IRONMAN will at least have them at age group World Championship races in 2026.

Tempo’s take: A huge congrats must be given to the small but mighty team at Race Ranger. Signing with IRONMAN is essentially the holy grail for them and is a testament to their dedication and hard work. We’re not sure if this was one of the final moves of outgoing IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick, or an early win for new CEO Scott Derue, both can claim victory on this one.

Having this kind of technology in the pro races will help make the sport more fair, and athletes more accountable. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to compete with it on a couple of occasions and it is the real deal.

  • While racing I’ve seen the big flashing red light in front of me a few times, and it is a clear signal that it’s time to back off or get on with a pass. These elite non-drafting races are only getting more competitive and this will help usher in a new (and incredibly fast) era of competition.

  • It remains to be seen how this will impact the racing. Will certain draft-enjoying athletes suffer? Will mid-race penalty boxes be stuffed to the brim?

I’ll be racing at the first pro series event at Oceanside 70.3, so I’ll be sure to let you know!

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Notable Absences Ahead of T100 Tour Opener in Miami


What is it: The opening round of the T100 Triathlon World Tour, triathlon’s venture capital-backed professional race series will kick off next weekend in Miami. And after a splashy series launch that hyped the iconic global race locations, and A-List athletes who will be competing, the recently revealed start lists tell a slightly different story with a striking absence of certain athletes.

Men’s race: Of the twenty T100-contracted athletes, seventeen will be on hand to battle it out on the Homestead-Miami race track. Notable athletes include Jason West (USA), Magnus Ditlev (DEN), Sam Long (USA), Sam Laidlow (FRA), and Rudy Von Berg (USA).

  • Also renewing an iconic rivalry will be Alistair Brownlee (GBR) and Javier Gomez (ESP), who spent almost eight year-period going-toe-to-toe at many World Triathlon World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Women’s race: 2023 Ironman World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), #1 T100-ranked athlete Anne Haug (GER), multiple-time IRONMAN and 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf (SUI) and Ironman 70.3 World Championship medalist Paula Findlay (CAN) highlight a very competitive and exciting field at the top end.

  • However, of the twenty contracted athletes, only twelve will be on the start line in Miami. Certain short-course athletes like Taylor Knibb (USA) and Flora Duffy (BER) are focusing on the Olympics and won’t be featured until later in the year.

This means eight slots will be filled by non-contracted and yet-to-be-named wildcards. Notable absences include:

  • Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) -Three-time PTO (T100) race champion.

  • Chelsea Sodaro (USA) - 2022 IRONMAN World Champion.

  • Laura Philip (GER) - IRONMAN and 70.3 World Championship medalist.

Tempo’s take: From T100 tour CEO Sam Renouf “We’ve been clear that we wanted to create a tour that…sees the world’s best endurance athletes going head-to-head on a consistent basis.”

With three of their top athletes skipping out of the first race, is that what they’ve created? We know all of these athletes are getting paid north of six figures to be a part of the series. But the T100 can’t even convince them to show up to the first race of the year? Imagine Max Verstappen skipping out on the first Formula One race to race a NASCAR event, or Serena Williams foregoing the Australian Open for a Pickleball invitational.

  • Gentle and Phillip appear to be skipping out for undetermined reasons, while Sodaro will instead be competing at IRONMAN New Zealand.

With dual pressures of T100 investors looking to see profits soon, and IRONMAN stepping up to the plate with their series, this first year of the T100 Tour is absolutely make or break. Not having some of your best talent show up to help set the tone for the season shows a lack of discipline and seriousness on the part of the T100 brass.

  • The “season-long narrative” that the T100 wants is extremely compelling, but only if your athletes show up.

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🚲 Zone 2 explained: Zone 2 training is super buzzy in the endurance community, and for good reason! It is absolutely critical for performing at your best in endurance events. This Tour de France-winning coach explains the science behind the most important aspect of your training. [TrainingPeaks]

🏊‍♀️ Blueseventy goggles you’ll love:This is my second pair of these. They never leak, are comfortable, and do not fog. Please never stop making them!” Find out why Alice and thousands of triathletes love swimming faster and with more comfort in their Blueseventy goggles. And don’t forget to save with “TEMPO20” at checkout!*

🐡 Omega 3 keys: Omega 3’s are have been shown to help improve endurance performance and strength. But how can we get more of this key fatty acid in our diet? Fish! And also nuts. [Science for Sport]

🏋️‍♀️ Older athlete strength: As we age it can be easy to cast the strength training off to the side. But being strong is critical for older (and all ages) athletes to stay healthy and feeling their best. Here are six key strength movements for older athletes. [Outside]

👟 New shoe day: We’re now two months into 2024, and it might be time for some new shoes 😃 This video gets into the 15 most exciting running shoes for 2024. Our interest? The marathon world record-setting Nike Alphafly’s, and the well-rounded Saucony Endorphin Speed 4’s. [Believe in the Run]

*Paid partnership


Replace “running” with triathlon and yeah…pretty much the same 😆


Record Tri: Over 1,400 athletes participated in the record-breaking TRIYAS Triathlon 2024 in Abu Dhabi. [MENA FN]

A Wee Triathlon: The Nevis Triathlon Club is organizing its first triathlon - the Wee Triathlon - a pool-based sprint event at Lochaber Leisure Centre in Fort William on April 21. [West Coast Today]

A building fit for triathletes: A striking building designed by students of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Strasbourg will showcase Triathlon to the world during this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics. [Gouvernment de France]

Team Bermuda: 23 Bermuda Triathlon Team athletes will take part in this weekend’s Clermont Draft Legal event in Florida. Maybe a few future Flora Duffy’s in that crowd! [Bern News]

Kenyan champions: Jesse Okal took home the win in the super sprint at the African Championships in what was a stellar weekend for team Kenya. [KBC]


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