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This weekend, the first in a new series of high-profile, big money events goes off in Edmonton, Canada—and nearly all the big names will be there to chase their piece of the $1 million prize purse. The Professional Triathletes Organization’s (PTO) Canadian Open will feature a women’s race late Saturday morning and the men’s race early Sunday afternoon (with age-groupers racing beforehand on the same courses).
Here’s what you need to know and how to watch this exciting new showdown. Hint: Just scroll down for the live feed when the race gun goes off.
The Canadian Open is the first in what will ultimately be four PTO Open races (plus their flagship event, the Collins Cup). Like all the other PTO events, it will be contested over the new-to-tri 100K distance: 2K swim, 80K bike, 18K run—which slightly favors the shorter course athletes and puts more emphasis comparatively on the swim.
For the Canada race, the PTO contracted out to a local Canadian race company and the course has been designed by local race director, also known as Paula Findlay’s mom. It’ll be based out of Hawrelak Park, with a three-loop non-wetsuit swim (with two beach runs), a hilly four-loop bike course, and then a flat three-loop run. If you’re so inclined, you can watch the course preview video.
Who to watch
The real question is: Who won’t be in Edmonton? (OK, fine. Daniela, Jan, Flora. Most notably, Jan Frodeno is the biggest name still missing post-injury from the start list. And many of the Olympic stars are focused on the Commonwealth Games next weekend. Expect to see different big names in late September for the PTO’s U.S. Open in Dallas.)
Nearly everyone else who can, though, has gotten themselves to Canada this weekend. With $1 million in total prize money, plus the opportunity for bonus points towards Collins Cup qualification (which comes with even more prize money), you’re getting both long-course and short-course athletes risking the challenges of airline travel right now.
On the women’s side, the big question is how Laura Philipp is faring after her Ironman brand world record at Ironman Hamburg. Philipp missed out on the Ironman World Championships in May because of COVID, so hasn’t face top-level competition yet this year. But she’ll have to be sharp with hometown hero Paula Findlay primed for a win and mid-distance stars like Holly Lawrence, Jackie Hering, Emma Pallant-Browne, Jeannie Metzler, Chelsea Sodaro, Ashleigh Gentle, Nicola Spirig, Ellie Salthouse, Lauren Brandon, Sarah Crowley. Whew, the list goes on and on. See the full women’s start list.
For the men, everyone’s eyes are on Lionel v. the Norwegians. Olympic and Ironman world champ Kristian Blummenfelt will finally face-off in the middle distance against his countryman Gustav Iden, two-time 70.3 world champ, and against Canadian favorite Lionel Sanders. It’ll be the first time we’ve seen all three in one race. Of course, they’re not the only ones racing. Looking to upset them are Matt Hanson, Ben Kanute, Sebi Kienle back from injury, David McNamee, Sam Appleton, and short-course speedsters like Matt McElroy, Matthew Sharpe, and Henri Shoeman. Plus, double Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee will finally be making his just-announced return to racing. And, I’m sure, we’re forgetting people. See the full men’s start list.
Looking for more detail? Check out our in-depth preview of the PTO’s Canadian Open.
How to watch the Canadian Open
The women go off at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 23 and the men race at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 24. In the U.S., the feed from Outside Watch will start slightly before the events and show the races below when they go live. Simply scroll down to watch!
You can also watch all PTO events directly on Outside Watch or on the Outside app. The PTO has also launched their own app, PTO+, where coverage will be available everywhere outside of Europe. And in Europe, you can watch live on Eurosport. Check out the full list of broadcasters where you live.