Race cancelled, but PTO distributes Challenge Davos prize purse anyway

Chief Correspondent

If only the weather had been consistent with the picture perfect Swiss scene in the header image. Triathlon really can’t get much of a break in 2020, as Saturday’s Challenge Davos event in Switzerland had to be cancelled (mid-race) due to huge thunderstorms. Fast forward to 2021 is something many of us would appreciate right now.

The first international long(er) distance professional race since the coronavirus lockdown, the strong elite field was boosted by… a boost in prize money on offer, as published last week, courtesy of the intervention of the Professional Triathletes Organisation.

No race (at least, one that finished), no prize money? Not in this case, as once again the PTO have effectively displayed further confidence in their future status, by distributing those funds anyway. At an athlete level, those funds are far from a get-rich-quick scheme, but the increasingly consistent message (and cheque book), of the PTO is that they trying to work in tandem with what they consider its greatest assets, the athletes themselves.


The Professional Triathletes Organisation and CHALLENGEFAMILY today announced that they will be supporting both the professional and age grouper athletes at the recently cancelled CHALLENGEDAVOS race.

CHALLENGEDAVOS was forced to be cancelled after the swim start when dangerous weather conditions moved in. The Professional Triathletes Organisation will be paying in full the €21,000 in professional prize money it had committed at CHALLENGEDAVOS, with the amount being shared equally among all professionals who attended the event. In the spirit of unity with age grouper colleagues in these difficult times, CHALLENGEFAMILY will be applying the €19,000 it had allocated to the professional prize purse to offer significantly reduced entry fees for next year’s race to all age grouper athletes who incurred the long hours of training and expenses to be alongside the professionals at the CHALLENGEDAVOS 2020 start line.

Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of the PTO, commented, “We share in the disappointment of the cancellation of CHALLENGEDAVOS. After what has been a difficult year, we were all looking forward to being inspired by both professionals and age groupers as they were prepared to put on display the resolve and resilience that is synonymous with our sport. We are very grateful to the CHALLENGEDAVOS Team, who at great expense worked relentlessly to keep the race on the calendar in the face of all the Covid-19 restrictions. To see it foiled on race day by inclement weather is bitterly disappointing to the entire local team and all the volunteers who devoted their time and effort to make the race a possibility. We are pleased that the PTO and CHALLENGEFAMILY were able to work together so that that both professionals and age groupers are treated with respect and integrity when the event was forced to be cancelled by circumstances outside everyone’s control. While we know our PTO Professionals have had little opportunity to race and earn income this year, we appreciate all the training and expense that age groupers had to incur to get to the start line at CHALLENGEDAVOS and it is a tribute to the unique comradery between age groupers and professionals in triathlon that we support one another, particularly in the unprecedented difficulties everyone has faced this year.”

Jort Vlam, Chief Executive Officer of CHALLENGEFAMILY, noted, “Of course it was a big disappointment for us to see the iconic CHALLENGEDAVOS race cancelled due to bad weather, particularly as it was our first race in over six months because of Covid-19. We are very grateful for all the supportive messages we received from professionals and age groupers alike, and for their understanding that athlete safety must always come first. We are pleased to have worked together with the PTO to support both professionals and age groupers. For CHALLENGEFAMILY, professionals and age groupers together form our triathlon family. It goes without saying that “Family” is the most important reality for us, and we will always do everything within our power to support our Family in difficult times.”

For more news on the Professional Triathletes Organisation, Rankings, Collins Cup and more, check out our dedicated section on the site HERE.

Professional Triathletes Organisation
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
Latest News
IRONMAN Hamburg bike course generic image photo credit IRONMAN
Where next for triathlon after IRONMAN Hamburg tragedy?
IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick [Photo credit: Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images for IRONMAN]
‘We should have gone off air’ – IRONMAN CEO Messick on Hamburg broadcast
Sam Long wins IRONMAN 70.3 St George 2023 photo credit Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images for IRONMAN
IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder 2023: Start time, watch live and preview
Defending champ Byram faces battle with Langridge at Challenge Wales
Patrick Lange tells IRONMAN what they need to change after Hamburg tragedy