Money, money, (prize) money. Which triathletes make the most, and where they’re doing it.
Five things we've learned from the 2022 prize money standingsPhoto by: Kevin Mackinnon
2022 was a banner year for pro triathletes thanks to there being two Ironman World Championship events (St. George and Kona) along with the continued development of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) Tour and bonus pool, which now makes up over a third of all the prize money available in the sport.
In his annual “deep dive into the 2022 triathlon money list” TriRating’s Thorsten Radde offers an in depth look at the prize money break down in the sport. In this year’s report he compares the money lists between last year and 2019, the last full year of racing before the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the insights from Radde’s analysis (funds are US$):
Of the just over $15 million in prize (and bonus) money offered last year, $5,563,000 of it came from the PTO. That compares to the $3,338,400 Ironman offered for its full-distance races and the $1,566,100 it offered for its 70.3 races. World Triathlon offered up $1,930,000 in its races and bonus pool, while Challenge (and Clash) offered $811,920 in its races and bonus. Super League offered just under a million ($987,000). Independent events offered $791,545, which was an increase from past years – Radde attributes that, in part, to many of the races looking to be eligible to be part of the PTO World Ranking, which requires at least $10,000 in prize money, so add yet another reason for athletes to be excited about what the PTO is bringing to the table.
Even though he made a lot more money from the PTO than he did from Ironman, Kristian Blummenfelt’s win in St. George at the first Ironman World Championship of the year, third-place finish in Kona, followed by another St. George win for the 70.3 worlds (pictured above) helped propel him to the top of the prize money list overall. He made $491,700, with Gustav Iden finishing second in the overall rankings with $416,755. The next man in the overall standings was Magnus Ditlev, who was sixth overall with $293,038 in prize money last year.
Gentle dominates thanks to PTO wins
When you win $100,000 at two different races, it’s not hard to move towards the top of the rankings. Ashleigh Gentle’s wins at the PTO Canadian and US Opens, her appearance at the Collins Cup and her PTO bonus for finishing third in the World Rankings all netted her $325,000 from the PTO. She earned $14,000 at 70.3 races and $12,368 from Challenge events. Her $351,368 put her at third overall in the overall standings, and the top woman.
Daniela Ryf was the second-highest woman in the standings ($335,000) – and second in the PTO World Ranking, with world-ranking-leader Anne Haug finishing with $293,788, which was fifth overall in the standings.
Kona winner Chelsea Sodaro was seventh overall in the standings at $278,250 – $140,000 of that was for the win in Kona, with $135,000 coming from the PTO.
Long-course trumps short course in earnings
The highest-ranked purely “short course” athlete in the overall standings was Georgia Taylor-Brown, who finished eighth in the overall standings with $273,000 – $143,000 came from the World Triathlon Championship Series, with another $130,000 coming from her overall Super League win. Hayden Wilde snuck into one PTO event – the Collins Cup – where he earned $20,000, but he also earned $130,000 for his Super League win and another $105,000 from WTCS racing. Flora Duffy topped the prize money list from World Triathlon racing with $157,000 (she was the women’s world champion). She added $10,000 to that from her 70.3 endeavours this year, and $60,000 from the PTO.
Findlay tops Sanders on the prize money front
Paula Findlay is the highest ranked Canadian in the overall standings this year – she earned $222,000 – $41,000 from 70.3 races (including her runner-up finish at the 70.3 worlds) and $181,000 from the PTO. Lionel Sanders finished at the top for Canadian men, earning $207,750, with $65,000 coming from his runner-up finish at the worlds in St. George, $10,750 from 70.3 races and $132,000 from PTO races.