It is a situation as painful as it is annoying for the PTO: yesterday the organization made a big announcement that the PTO European Open will return to Ibiza next year, and in doing so it also indicated that the race will be a European Championship. However, that does not appear to be the case as of yet – or at least it was communicated too early – because World Triathlon has knocked back the PTO and announced that the European Championship has not yet been assigned. Thereupon, the PTO’s press release was taken offline.
That World Triathlon has called back the PTO is extra painful for the PTO, because earlier this year a collaboration between the two parties was announced and, as a result, the “Official World Championship Long Distance Tour” will take place next year. This tour is a series of 2-80-18 races where professional athletes earn points and can win a huge cash bonus at the end, based on their rankings. Apparently, cooperation between the PTO and World Triathlon is not yet so good that announcements are coordinated with each other.
The PTO seems to have a hard time getting its race calendar definitve anyway. Yesterday, the PTO European Open was announced and the same happened earlier with the PTO Asian Open. Next year, however, the Official World Championship Long Distance Tour should consist of at least six and ideally 10 races. The races in question were to be announced by October 2023 – last month, that is – but there is complete radio silence for now.
Yesterday, athletes were told to ‘wait for the coming months’. For many professional athletes, however, that is not an option, as they are already busy planning for next year and putting together their race schedule. In addition, many female pro athletes are anything but happy with the chosen date for the European Open, as the race takes place in late September just a week after the Ironman World Championships in Nice.