Why Kristian Blummenfelt has his sights set on reaching the PTO Asian Open and other things to know about the race in Singapore – Triathlon Magazine Canada

The final race of the 2023 Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) Tour – the Asian Open – takes place this weekend in Singapore, with a field of 20 women competing on Saturday afternoon and 20 men competing on Sunday. Tokyo gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt will be one of those men competing, days (well, with the time change making it more like a day and a half) after he lines up at the Paris Test Event. The Norwegian Ironman and 70.3 world champion has an extremely ambitious August schedule – he was third at the PTO US Open in Milwaukee and will return to Europe after the PTO Asian Open to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. As if all that wasn’t enough – he will feature in three of the four Super League Championship games in September, too. (He has to miss the first because of the 70.3 people in Lahti, Finland.)

Why not skip Singapore?

While the schedule seems crazy, Blummenfelt thrives on many races. He had an ambitious and busy schedule of draft legal events in May and June leading up to the Olympics and we know how the Games turned out. After the Games he continued on a blistering run, winning the Grand Final in Edmonton, helping Europe win the Collins Cup and, later that fall, finishing 7:21:12 in his Ironman debut in Cozumel. The guy loves to compete and loves to win, and he’s yet to win a PTO Tour event, so this will be his last shot, probably, until next year’s Olympics. With his focus on the 2024 Olympics, the Ironman World Championships in Nice are a no-go, so Blummenfelt looks determined to defend his 70.3 world title and also pick up some other big wins during the month of August.

Based on the recent announcement of at least six PTO Tour events next year, Blummenfelt is likely eager to continue his very positive relationship with the PTO. Along with compatriot Gustav Iden, the reigning Ironman world champion, he brings some significant “name” recognition to the event, which the PTO should appreciate. Then there’s the $100,000 to win. This can only be a little motivation.

Gustav Iden arrives in Singapore as another pre-race favourite

The rest of the field

In addition to Iden, the men’s field also includes Americans Sam Long, Ben Kanute and Jason West, along with last year’s Kona runner-up Sam Laidlow, who held off Blummenfelt in the Big Island marathon. The full start list can be found here.

How to watch

You can watch the matches on either the PTO YouTube channel or PTO+. The women’s race will start at 3am. EST on Saturday, with the men starting at the same time Sunday morning.

Speaking of the women’s race

Photo: PTO

It’s not hard to argue that the women’s race could well be more exciting than the men’s race. With Anne Haug, Ashleigh Gentle and Lucy Charles Barclay, the three podium winners from the PTO European Open in Ibiza facing off again, things should be quite interesting. Add to that mix the likes of Chelsea Sodaro, Sarah True, Imogen Simmonds and Sara Perez Sala and you have plenty of potential for a fast paced and exciting race.

Lucy Charles-Barclay returns from broken bone to compete at PTO Asian Open

The lessons

The races should be TV friendly – ​​two laps, 2km swim, eight laps, 80km bike followed by three laps, 18km run. Here’s the description from the PTO:

Taking place in the Marina Bay financial district, the first PTO Asian Open in Singapore will be set against one of the world’s most iconic skylines.

The race will begin with a floating start near the famous Helix Bridge and the ArtScience museum. Athletes will dive into Marina Bay for an initial 1km course leading towards the Esplanade Theater before turning and crossing the bay to T1 in the shadow of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel to cover the full 2km.

After a quick transition, it will be eight laps of 10km on the bike, passing the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and over the Benjamin Sheares Bridge. After two 90-degree corners, athletes will sweep into an out-and-back section to watch the competition. Then it’s past the Singapore Flyer big wheel and back over the bridge to Marina Bay Sands. There will be plenty of opportunities to cheer on your heroes along the 80km course – either out on the course or near the transition area, where you’ll also be able to watch the live broadcast on the big screen.

The running route includes three 6km laps, which skirt the edge of the bay and pass the ArtScience Museum and the Helix Bridge before heading under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge to the Gardens by the Bay. Athletes will cover the length of the gardens before circling the Marina Barrage and returning along the course to transition and, at the end of the third lap, a glorious finish line.

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