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Billionaire-backed PTO Tour brings elite triathlon race to central London

Alistair Brownlee could be among the triathletes competing in London this summer
Alistair Brownlee could be among the triathletes competing in London this summer

The world’s top triathletes will race through the streets of central London this summer after the billionaire-backed PTO Tour added a date in the capital to its expanding calendar.

The London leg of the PTO Tour will take place on 27 and 28 July and feature elite men’s and women’s races with leading professionals, such as Britain’s Alistair Brownlee and Lucy Charles-Barclay.

A 100km, made-for-TV race, it will start and finish in Docklands, feature a closed-road bike course to Westminster and back, and, like other PTO events, offer several mass participation options for amateurs to compete in too.

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It comes after the PTO Tour acquired the Challenge London event, which has a 20-year history of staging triathlons in the city, from the Challenge Family, which runs more than 30 amateur triathlons around the world.

“Our ambition to hold spectacular PTO Tour races in the centre of iconic cities around the world is something we’ve been very clear about – and this race in central London fits that criteria perfectly,” said PTO Tour CEO Sam Renouf.

“We’re delighted to be announcing its acquisition and the plan for the race to be part of the 2024 PTO Tour. Since the PTO’s inception we have had a close partnership with Challenge Family, with shared ideals and ambition to grow the sport.

“Its history tells us this is a world class event and it’s very much our ambition to continue the good work Challenge started and return it to that status as one of the largest in the world.”

The race will form part of a significantly expanded 2024 calendar for the third season proper of the PTO Tour, which is backed by British-born billionaire Sir Michael Moritz and offers athletes equity in the business.

Other races on the schedule this season are set to take place in Singapore, Ibiza and Lake Las Vegas. Several more are due to be announced at an event on Tuesday in London.

The London race will begin with a swim in Royal Victoria Dock and conclude at the ExCel London Exhibition Centre after a multi-lap run around Docklands.

“I am super excited to hear the PTO Tour will be coming to my home city,” said world No4 Charles-Barclay.

“I live in London and the race takes place only a stone’s throw from where we live and train. I have raced multiple swims there before and it’s a great venue for triathlon.”

The London triathlon will be part of the PTO Tour, which features many of the world's leading triathletes
The London triathlon will be part of the PTO Tour, which features many of the world’s leading triathletes

The PTO Tour is run by executive chairman Chris Kermode, who previously ran the men’s world tennis tour, and CEO Renouf, a former triathlete.

It is broadcast on the Discovery network, which in the UK includes Eurosport and TNT Sports.

All amateurs who have already signed up for the Challenge London event will keep their place and have the option of upgrading to the 100km distance.

“We know how much racing in such a world-renowned location adds to the profile of triathlon,” said Challenge Family CEO Jort Vlam.

“So, in the best interests of the sport, it makes sense to collaborate with the PTO who we trust will provide the event with a chance to reach millions of people through mainstream media, serving our sport across the globe.”