On December 6 the Professional Triathletes Organisation will be hosting the PTO 2020 Championships during Challenge Daytona. The event, hosted at the Daytona International Speedway, will offer a $1 million prize purse split equally between the men and women.
The top 40 men and women in the PTO World Rankings automatically qualify for the event – you can see the list here. Canadians included on that list include Lionel Sanders (4), Cody Beals (19), Paula Findlay (15) and Jen Annett (39).
The PTO will be handing out wildcard slots for the remaining positions to fill the field – a total of 50 slots are available. In the end there will be more than 10 wildcard slots handed out as some athletes in the top 40 have already indicated they won’t be racing later this year. (Jan Frodeno, for example, indicated on his Instagram page a few weeks ago that he was calling it a season after a bike accident.)
The wildcard slots will be chosen by the non-athlete members of the PTO Board and announced during the week of October 12.
There are three categories for wildcard selection:
- Athletes whose rankings, because of injury, maternity or other reasons, do not accurately reflect the quality of their historical performances and who have demonstrated that they are capable of being in-form for the event;
- Up and coming athletes who have shown the ability to be competitive with the qualifying field, but have not yet had the opportunity to establish a sufficiently high ranking to be an automatic qualifier and;
- Short course athletes who have a sufficiently high ITU ranking so as to expect that they would be competitive in the event.
The non-athlete members of the PTO Board will consider athletes who might not be PTO members as long as “an athlete’s level of commitment, professionalism and attitude is consistent with the PTO’s mission of being a united voice for professionals and a valued member of the greater triathlon community.” ITU rankings and race results will also be considered, and development opportunities will also be taken into consideration.
A couple of Canadian athletes we’re expecting to see granted wildcard slots for Daytona include Jackson Laundry and Taylor Reid, who both earned top-10 finishes at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel last weekend and were key organizers of the recent Canadian Pro Triathlon Championship. The women’s winner of that race, Tamara Jewett, would also seem to be a logical contender, as would the third-place finisher at the race in Caledon, Rach McBride.