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Men’s field at the PTO European Open missing Gustav Iden

Reigning Ironman 70.3 world champ Kristian Blummenfelt highlights the initial start list for Ibiza

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

So much for our hope that we’d see the long-awaited race between Jan Frodeno, Kristian Blummenfelt (pictured above winning the Ironman 70.3 World Championship) and Gustav Iden at the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) European Open in Ibiza, Spain next month. While Blummenfelt, the PTO world ranked #1, highlights the men’s field, his Norwegian counterpart, 2022 Kona champ Gustav Iden, will not be in the race. One would imagine that Iden will be focussed on draft-legal World Triathlon events as he hunts Olympic qualification for Paris.

How will Jan Frodeno fare against the Norwegians?

It’s not like Iden’s absence will mean that the race won’t be incredibly competitive. While Jan Frodeno and Alistair Brownlee are likely to be added to the field as wild cards (look for that announcement tomorrow), the field chasing their share of the US$600,000 prize purse is impressive.

Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev sits at #3 in the PTO ranking, while Kona runner-up Sam Laidlow (FRA) finished just off the podium at both PTO Open events in 2022 and would dearly love a spot in the top three this year. Other big names in the field include Kona fourth-place finish Max Neumann (AUS) and two-time Kona champ Patrick Lange (GER). Last year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship runner-up Ben Kanute will also be one to watch.

Lionel Sanders says he’s not “ready” to be competitive in Ibiza … will skip Ironman World Championship this year

The race won’t include Canadians Lionel Sanders or Jackson Laundry, and American Sam Long has also chosen to skip the first of three PTO Open events this year.

You can check out the initial start list here.

The field will be extended with a number of wild card picks tomorrow – Frodeno has made it clear he plans to compete at the event, and one hopes that we’ll see two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee, too.

“With the much anticipated wildcards still to come – this is set to be one of the most talked about events of the year, a battle of ‘Olympic’ proportion,” PTO CEO Sam Renouf said.

Can Ashleigh Gentle continue her PTO dominance in Ibiza? Is Ryf ready to return to the top?

The 2023 PTO Tour includes the race in Ibiza on May 6, then heads to Milwaukee on Aug. 4 and 5. The third event in the series is the PTO Asian Open in Singapore on Aug. 19 and 20.