PTO Tour Asian Open 2023 Predictions: Can ‘Big Blu’ Finally End the Wait or Will the West Run to Glory?

The 2023 PTO Tour wraps up on Sunday in Singapore, and what a way to end it with a stellar field gearing up for the Asian Open.

In men, despite the absence of the US Open winner Gian Frontenothere’s a star-studded lineup that includes the deadly Norwegian duo of Christian Blumenfeld and Gustav Identhe former has already finished on two PTO podiums so far this season.

In our predictions piece below, we list the top contenders for victory, along with some dark horses to watch out for, as well as our podium picks. If you’d like to share your thoughts on who will be taking the tape in Singapore this weekend, you can share them with us on our social media channels, available by clicking here and here.

Top contenders

While a PTO Tour win still eludes him, Kristian Blummenfelt – second in Ibiza and third in Milwaukee already this season – can never be counted out. ‘Big Blu’, who will take the field a few days after the match at Olympic trial event in Pariswill be the odds-on favorite in Singapore despite losing to Aussie Max Neumann in the last round in Ibiza.

[Photo credit: PTO]

At the PTO Tour US Open in Milwaukee, Blummenfelt looked poised to take the win, having entered T2 in a small group, but succumbed to the cramp as Frodeno took the crown and bragging rights in what appeared to be his final race at the distance 100 km

If Blummenfelt can bounce back from his previous efforts in Paris and to a lesser extent in Milwaukee, and also figure out the bike position issues that caused him cramps in both Milwaukee and Edmonton last year at the PTO Tour Canadian Open, he will be man to beat here.

With Magnus Ditlev and the aforementioned Neumann slow to drop from the initial shortlist, the two other main contenders based on recent form are Americans Jason West and Sam Long. Both are coming off spectacular results on the field at the PTO Tour US Open, where West was second and Long fifth.

West, in particular, enters this race as one of the heavy favorites, especially considering he just missed out on the win in Milwaukee by about 30 seconds, having dealt with an early bike mechanic that cost him valuable time. and momentum.

Long, who recently became a father, flies to Singapore with a spring in his step after welcoming his first son Leo and proving beyond doubt that he is the real deal. After receiving an unfair blow early in the season after parting ways with trainer Dr Dan Plews, Long had terrorized the domestic middle-distance fields in the US before capping off a stellar domestic season with a big result in Milwaukee.

Dark Horses

While many of our dark horse picks for Singapore are established names, their recent form, coupled with question marks over their fitness, means they are flying under the radar coming into this weekend. In a field filled with established names, some of the biggest stars, including the reigning IRONMAN World Champion, have the ability to either blow the competition out of the water or struggle mightily.

Gustav Iden Kristian Blummenfelt Aaron Royle photo credit PTO Canadian Open
Gustav Iden Kristian Blummenfelt Aaron Royle [Photo credit: PTO Canadian Open]

Norway’s Iden, winner of the PTO Canadian Open last season and the Global Triathlon Awards ‘Male Triathlete of the Year’ in 2022, has had a season to forget so far in his return to short course racing. However, he could get things back on track with a strong performance at what many believe is his best distance in Singapore.

Iden, who won the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona 10 months ago, appears to still be committed to the Olympic dream, but may be forced to reconsider if his return to middle-distance racing proves much smoother than his reintroduction to short course was.

Sam Laidlow, runner-up in the IRONMAN World Championship behind Iden, also has questions to answer, but after a solid win at Challenge London recently, he looks to be hitting form at the right time. However, for athletes like Long and West to beat, let alone Blummenfelt and Neumann, would be a surprise to many.

In addition, two guys who have competed recently and could really surprise everyone are Mike Phillips and Pieter Heemeryck. Just 10 days ago, at the European IRONMAN 70.3 Championship, Heemeryck came out on top with both men looking in great form heading into Singapore.

Mike Phillips wins 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong [Photo credit: Korupt Vision]
Another win for Mike Phillips [Photo credit: Korupt Vision]

Finally, David McNamee, who finished 11th in Ibiza before most recently seventh in Milwaukee, is trending in the right direction and knows what it takes to deliver on the biggest stage after two Kona podiums. Could the race in Singapore, which has a similar summer climate to Kona, be his best chance at a PTO podium?

Verdict and platform options

In a field of just 16 athletes, it will be very interesting to see how the race goes. Neumann, who managed to fend off Blummenfelt with a strong swim in Ibiza, will have to push hard in Singapore to see off a much-improved Olympian and in his absence it will be up to someone else to take up the mantle and put the evil in Norwegian in all three branches.

Out of the water, I think most of the field will be together, with Australian Aaron Royle sure to be at the front of the race, along with Phillips, Laidlow, Dane Daniel Baekkegard and possibly a handful of other athletes such as .x. Blummenfelt and American Ben Kanute.

The real race, in my mind, will start with the bike. The front pack, particularly Blummenfelt, will be keen to eliminate the threats posed by fast riders like West, Iden and Heemeryck, with the bike leg the best place to put the hammer down in the heat and humidity.

Weaker swimmers in this race face a real disadvantage because chasing in the conditions that Singapore offers is likely to push them closer and closer to the red line, making the big bursts on the run so likely to come from the chasers. from the front pack. Off the bike, expect a select front group to have worked hard but smart to open a gap on the rest of the field.

If Blummenfelt has fixed his bike position, he can probably take everyone down, but if not, I think the race will be lost to someone like Jason West, with Baekkegard the only other athlete in the field I can see coming down from the bike with the front. team and owns the running speed to come close to a podium position.

Men’s Podium Predictions:

  1. Jason West.
  2. Christian Blumenfeld.
  3. Daniel Baekkegard.

When does the match start?

For the men’s event at the PTO Tour Asian Open, the action begins Sunday, August 20. The match will start at 15:15 local time, which corresponds to 08:15 in the UK and 09:15 CET.

In America, triathlon fans will have to be up and early to catch the action, with the race starting at 12:15 a.m. on the West Coast, corresponding to 12:15 a.m. on the East Coast.

How to watch the match live

In Europe, the match will be broadcast live on Eurosport, with global coverage also available via the new PTO+ app and a range of global broadcast partners and streaming services. Full details of these HERE on the PTO website.

If you’re outside Europe and the Indian Subcontinent, you can watch the action completely free, either on the PTO+ app, YouTube or your local broadcaster.

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