Home > News

Canadian Xtri champion makes his PTO Canadian Open predictions

Canada Man/Woman Xtreme champion Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches tells you everything you need to know about the PTO Canadian Open

This weekend will be the first running of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) Canadian Open in Edmonton. The PTO Canadian Open is the first of three races in the PTO Tour.

The three PTO events this year include:

  • PTO Canadian Open: Edmonton, July 23-24
  • Collins Cup: Slovakia, August 20-21
  • PTO US Open: Dallas, Texas, Septembre 17-18

The race format for the PTO events is longer than the Olympic distance, but shorter than the half-distance. Triathletes will have to swim 2km, ride 80km and run 18km. Thus, in theory, it is a format that should be suitable for both short-distance triathletes and long-distance triathletes.

The main objective of the PTO Tour is to attract all the best triathletes in the world to the same events and to present triathlons that are interesting to watch for the public. Obviously, attracting all the best triathletes in the world for three events is not easy given that short distance athletes have their ITU calendar and long distance athletes have their Ironman calendar. For example, the PTO Canadian Open takes place on the same weekend as Ironman Lake Placid,  so some triathletes such as Cody Beals had to choose between the two (Beals decided to take part in the Lac Placid Ironman rather than the PTO Canadian Open). However, the reason why many of the best triathletes in the world will be at the start at the PTO Canadian Open is that there is a lot of money to be made. The Canadian and U.S. Opens have a $1 million cash purse and the triathletes will share a $1.5 million purse at the Collins Cup. Also, these three events count in the PTO ranking and $2 million will be distributed at the end of the year to the best triathletes according to this ranking.


On the women’s side, the favourites are Paula Findlay, Emma Pallant-Browne, Holly Lawrence and Ashleigh Gentle. (Nicola Spirig was a late entry to the race.) In my opinion, the big favourite is Edmonton native Paula Findlay. Since the first race of the PTO Open is at home, she will be even more motivated to climb to the highest step of the podium. In addition, she has already demonstrated that it is a format that suits her very well.

Here are my predictions for the podium:

  1. Paula Findlay
  2. Emma Pallant-Browne
  3. Ashleigh Gentle

The men’s side will include Lionel Sanders, Kristian Blummenfelt, Gustav Iden, Alistair Brownlee, Jackson Laundry and Ben Kanute.

It’s very difficult not to bet on the two Norwegians. The question is: Who will be able to climb to the third step of the podium?

Here are my predictions for the podium:

  1. Kristian Blummenfelt – The New Year
  2. Gustav Iden
  3. Jackson Laundry

Laundry demonstrated this year that he can compete with the best in the world by beating Brownlee and Sanders at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. I also believe it’s a format that suits Laundry perfectly. Sanders also has a very good chance of getting on the podium, but Sanders has the Ironman World Championship as his main goal, so he may lack some speed against 70.3 distance specialists such as Laundry, Kanute and Jason West. Also, the race format favors a good swimmer more since the proportion of swimming is higher than a 70.3 (2 km of swimming along with 80 km of cycling and 18 km of running rather than 1.9 km of swimming, 90 km of cycling and 21.1 km of running).

So it’s going to be a very exciting race to watch. The women’s race is on Saturday at 12:30 pm and the men’s race is on Sunday at 2:30 pm and you can watch the races on the PTO website: https://protriathletes.org/events/how-to-watch/

CBC will also be streaming the races.