As hard as it is to imagine, it is not certain that the reigning Ironman world champion will end up defending her title in Nice, France in September. In a video she posted on her YouTube channel (see below), Lucy Charles-Barclay, who shattered the Kona course record in her wire-to-wire win last October, says she will focus on the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) Tour.
“My personal goal this year is the PTO series – that is what I want to put my attention to,” Charles-Barclay said. “I’ve never focussed on that distance entirely before, so I want to see how far I can go in the middle distance. I obviously have a 70.3 world title, so I know the potential is there.”
Charles-Barclay says there is a race in the series that she “really wants to win” but can’t tell us what that is as of yet.
The PTO will announce the new series and the athletes who have signed contracts – presumably including Charles-Barclay – on January 30.
“You probably will see me race a little bit in the Ironman series this year, but the PTO is where my focus is going to be this year,” she said.
The PTO Tour is expected to include six to eight races throughout the year. With some of the potential stars in the series presumably focussed on the Olympics (Kristian Blummenfelt, Taylor Knibb) or the Ironman World Championship (Charles-Barclay and, possibly, Blummenfelt again), one would imagine that the series will be scheduled around those major events.