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Top triathlete reveals the struggle to gain a T100 Tour wildcard without a contract

Jackson Laundry shares the struggle that comes with trying to break into the T100 Tour without a contract.

Staff Reporter
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From the outside looking in, it would appear that the number of racing opportunities in long course triathlon has never been greater, thanks to the emergence of the T100 Triathlon World Tour and the brand new IRONMAN Pro Series.

Whilst for some athletes this may be true, for others, the new calendar has left them in a limbo, creating a no man’s land requiring either a change in focus or the tough task of breaking into a highest echelon that appears increasingly distant.

Explaining the predicament that he and many others now find themselves in, PTO World #38 Jackson Laundry lays out on YouTube his plans for the season and highlights how the options for some athletes are becoming gradually more limited.

“I didn’t get the points I needed last year”

Despite a podium rate of 70% last season, Laundry missed out on valuable points at the biggest races and because of this, a contract on the T100 Tour in 2024.

Jackson Laundry Lionel Sanders podium Oceanside 2022 [Photo credit: Donald Miralle /Getty Images for IRONMAN]
[Photo credit: Donald Miralle /Getty Images for IRONMAN]

The former IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside champion, who has a best finish of fifth at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship from 2021, is an athlete who has largely focused on the half distance throughout his career.

As a result, racing the IRONMAN Pro Series this year, which offers more points at its full distance events, was not an option, leaving the Canadian with the challenge of landing a wildcard at a T100 Tour event.

“The T100 Tour is the big series right now and is competing with the IRONMAN Pro Series that was announced a couple of months ago. Everyone has been asking what series am I doing and for me, I’m not in the PTO series and unfortunately the IRONMAN series doesn’t fit the type of racing I do.

“So, what I’ve decided to do for now is race at the events which have the most points possible and try to get into that PTO series, as I’m not too far out of it right now.

“There are a few guys ahead of me and unfortunately for me I didn’t get the points I needed at the races with the biggest points last year. I know I belong in that series, I didn’t earn it last year, but this year that is what I’m focused on.”

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“I’ve got to go and crush it”

Targeting the first two major middle distance races of the pro series, Laundry will race in California and Utah, but admits that even then, he doesn’t know if securing top results will be enough to clinch a golden ticket to the T100 Tour.

Oceanwide 2023 men podium Bergere West Laundry [Photo credit: Donald Miralle for IRONMAN]
[Photo credit: Donald Miralle for IRONMAN]

“It’s going to be hard to make my way up the rankings, because all the guys in that series will be getting a lot of points just from doing those races. So, I’m going to have to do very well at competitive races such as IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside and IRONMAN 70.3 St George.

If you’re not on the podium you won’t be getting the points to get in, so at least a podium and probably a win or two is the goal. The first race of the year will be Oceanside and I’ve got to go and crush it.”

Predicting that there will be around five wildcards given out for most events, the 30-year-old is banking on the slots rolling down the rankings.

“Who really knows what those wildcard slots will be picked off? I’d like to think that they would roll down via the rankings, but as we have seen some of it has nothing to do with world ranking and is more to do with world titles and what you can bring to the series, which obviously makes sense.

“Hopefully I race really well in these early events and then get into the PTO races later in the season. That’s the main goal for me right now.” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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