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PTO US Open: Blummenfelt and Ditlev head all-star cast for Milwaukee showdown

The men's start list for the PTO Tour US Open have been announced.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -
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PTO World #1 Kristian Blummenfelt will be hoping to finally grab that elusive PTO Tour win next month in Milwaukee, with the Norwegian superstar set to add the US Open to his already hectic August schedule.

From the home nation, in-form Sam Long and recent Roth podium finisher Ben Kanute will lead the way, with Jason West, Trevor Foley and Chris Leiferman all seeking to ensure that an American male can win the US Open for a second consecutive year.

From Great Britain, double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee will be doubling back stateside after what could be a last-gasp attempt to qualify for Nice at IRONMAN Lake Placid, with rising star Tom Bishop and old hand David McNamee also on the list.

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Can Blummenfelt break PTO duck?

Despite being the PTO World #1, Olympic champion Blummenfelt has never won a race on the PTO Tour, twice finishing second at the PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton last year and the PTO European Open in Ibiza at the start of the season.

Neumann Blummenfelt Ditlev PTO European Open men podium Ibiza 2023 photo credit: PTO
[Photo credit: PTO]

With the two men who beat him at those races absent, it looks like the Norwegian will face familiar foes on the start line in Milwaukee, but ones that he knows on his day he has the beating of. If ‘Big Blu’ is as sharp as he was in Ibiza, he has a good chance of winning, but the real question is how will this impact the rest of his season?

With the Paris Test event a fortnight later, followed up in quick succession by the PTO Tour Asian Open in Singapore and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Finland, is Blummenfelt biting off more than he can chew? If he is looking to defend his IRONMAN 70.3 title and take down Neumann in Singapore, Milwaukee might be a step too far.

Ditlev a danger after Roth romp

Additionally, whilst Neumann and Iden are missing, an ever-improving Magnus Ditlev of Denmark will be full of confidence after his record-breaking win at Challenge Roth and could see this as his opportunity to take down Blummenfelt. Ditlev is in fine form and after finishing behind the Norwegian in Ibiza, could turn the tables here.

The American duo of Long and Kanute are the next set of threats, with Long potentially missing the race if it ends up clashing with the birth of his child. Kanute on the other hand will definitely race and is full of confidence and in great shape after a brilliant race at Challenge Roth.

Ben Kanute IRONMAN Arizona 2022 [Photo credit Patrick McDermott Getty Images for IRONMAN]
[Photo credit Patrick McDermott / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

The French duo of Clement Mignon and Mathis Margirier, who have both taken titles at the World Long Course Championships and The Challenge Championship respectively so far this season, could be dark horses for the podium, as could American Jason West, who looks to be the best runner in the sport on his day.

Canadians Lionel Sanders and Jackson Laundry could also feature, with young stars Foley and Thor Bendix Madsen of Denmark two more athletes with a shot at a good result. On the other end of the experience spectrum, Kiwi Braden Currie, who dominated at IRONMAN Cairns recently, is also racing.

Finally, Brownlee, Bishop and McNamee each offer outside chances of a Brit on the podium. Brownlee has a lot of work to do in proving his fitness after a long spell on the sidelines since Ibiza, Bishop will relish another opportunity to take on a quality field and McNamee is showing race by race this season why he was one of the best British long-course athletes.

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PTO US Open Start List – Men

  1. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 
  2. Magnus Ditlev (DEN)
  3. Sam Long (USA) 
  4. Ben Kanute (USA) 
  5. Daniel Baekkegard (DEN) 
  6. Aaron Royle (AUS) 
  7. Frederic Funk (GER) 
  8. Clement Mignon (FRA) 
  9. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 
  10. Florian Angert (GER) 
  11. Jason West (USA) 
  12. Kristian Hogenhaug (DEN) 
  13. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 
  14. Bradley Weiss (SA) 
  15. Miki Moerck Taagholt (DEN) 
  16. Mathis Margirier (FRA) 
  17. Jackson Laundry (CAN) 
  18. Thomas Bishop (GBR) 
  19. Gregory Barnaby (ITA)
  20. Trevor Foley (USA) 
  21. Braden Currie (NZL) 
  22. Chris Leiferman (USA) 
  23. David McNamee (GBR) 
  24. Thor Bendix Madsen (DEN) 

NB: Four wildcards for the race will be announced on Thursday July 13.

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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