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PTO Tour US Open 2023: Mark Allen picks & predictions, including a podium dark horse

Mark Allen chooses his favourites for the PTO Tour US Open.

Staff Reporter
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Triathlon legend Mark Allen has made his picks for the PTO Tour US Open in Milwaukee and he expects two terrific battles this weekend – especially in the women’s pro race.

Things get under way on Friday with the men’s race, while the women get to take centre stage 24 hours later on Saturday. We have two stacked fields, and six-time Kona hero Allen is pumped for some incredible action.

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Mark Allen on Blummenfelt

Backing Norwegian titan Kristian Blummenfelt for the win in the men’s race, Allen also tipped American star Ben Kanute for the podium, as well as fellow legend Jan Frodeno. He also has an interesting pick for his dark horse.

“I wanted to give my predictions and let’s see, for the men’s race I’m going to stick Kristian Blummenfelt at the top of my predictions,” said Allen.

“He’s racing really well at the WTCS events and is getting faster as he goes, he always does crazy training and so I’m sure he has the endurance to make it through a 100km race. He’s a tough guy and doesn’t like to lose. He didn’t win in Ibiza and I think he’ll want to set that record straight.

“Behind him, we have a couple of guys, but I think Ben Kanute for sure is going to be on the podium. He and Kristian had an amazing battle in St George last heat at 70.3 world champs and Ben knows how to go fast, he comes from Olympic distance racing and it’s going to be a very fast race in Milwaukee.

“Third, I’m going to give it to Jan Frodeno, he’s got two races left in his career and this is going to be one of them. The guy is going to be motivated, it’s a very flat course, so it will be hard to get away and he’s a great swimmer so he’ll probably be out with the front guys and he knows how to race.

“My dark horse on the podium is Jason West, he’s been running so fast this year and if he can be close off the bike he’ll be really dangerous. Magnus Ditlev of course is also going to be a super strong contender for the podium.”

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Gentle vs Knibb a beauty

Having initially picked defending champion Ashleigh Gentle for the win, Allen reevaluated his picks and decided to go with Taylor Knibb – backing the young American to reverse last year’s result against the Aussie.

PTO European Open 2023 Ibiza - Ashleigh Gentle
[Photo credit: PTO / James Mitchell]

“You know who’s racing there, who I think is going to win it, is Taylor Knibb and then I’m actually going to say Ashleigh will be second, but it will be close though.” 

In third, Allen was confident that experienced Canadian Paula Findlay has what it takes to get on a podium, just days before she’s due to represent Team Canada at the UCI World Cycling Championships in Glasgow.

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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