Last week, the PTO launched their highly anticipated T100 Triathlon World Tour, along with the names of the 40 athletes contracted to the race series in 2024.
With just 20 professional women given contracts, there were bound to be some big names who missed out, or alternatively decided to turn down the offer in order to pursue other goals.
In this article, we have identified the biggest stars who won’t be racing the T100 (unless they’re given a wildcard) and picked out some of the surprise omissions.
The seasoned pros
Whilst the race for the T100 title will be an exciting one to follow in 2024, so too will be the battle for the IRONMAN Pro Series win amongst the women, with a number of top names looking likely to focus on that.
The highest ranked athlete not to be racing the T100 series, American PTO World #16 Sarah True, has won three IRONMAN events in Lake Placid, Arizona and Frankfurt over the past two years.
Having also finished eighth at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona last year, True will a dark horse for a podium at the IRONMAN World Championship and a favourite for the overall title if she chooses to chase the IRONMAN Pro Series.
Britain’s Fenella Langridge is another contender for the overall title this year, having won her first Ironman race in Western Australia at the end of 2023.
Langridge, who also finished fourth at Challenge Roth and runner-up behind Laura Philipp at IRONMAN South Africa last season, will bring a lot of energy and excitement to the series if she chooses to race.
Finally, Swedish Olympic medalist Lisa Norden, who is also a PTO World Top 20 ranked athlete alongside Langridge and True, just keeps getting better and better over the full distance every single season.
Last year, Norden was second behind Langridge in Western Australia, ninth at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona and picked up a magnificent win on home soil at IRONMAN Sweden.
The surprise omissions
Having proven her ability over the 100km distance with two Top 10 finishes previously on the PTO Tour, Australian Ellie Salthouse was one of the athletes we were most surprised not to see on the T100 Tour.
Sixth at the PTO Tour US Open in 2023, Salthouse picked up six middle distance podiums last season alone, with wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Tasmania, Husky Ultimate, Challenge Samarkand and IRONMAN 70.3 Fortaleza.
Ultimately, the 30-year-old should be one of the top picks for a wildcard this season, but if that opportunity isn’t available, then this might just be the year that the PTO World #26 finally cracks the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
Having finished in the Top 15 on five occasions and a career high of eighth in 2018, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo this December could be a great chance for the Brisbane native to make her mark.
In addition to Salthouse, Lucy Buckingham of Great Britain is another talented middle distance racer who won’t be on the start line at a T100 race this season without a wildcard.
The London Olympian, who has consistently impressed since her move up to middle distance racing in 2019, had a strong season in 2023 but has never raced over the PTO 100km distance.
Wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Warsaw and IRONMAN 70.3 Knokke-Heist plus two runner-up finishes at Challenge events in Walchsee and Barcelona were the highlights of 2023 for the Brit, who was a DNF at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
Like Salthouse, Buckingham may feel the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo is a great opportunity this year, or alternatively could decide to focus on the Challenge Family World Bonus.
The short course stars
Australian Natalie Van Coevorden, who has finished on the podium at IRONMAN 70.3 Bahrain and IRONMAN 70.3 Melbourne over the past two years, is one athlete who could be looking to move up in distance at the end of the current Olympic cycle.
Another is Julie Derron, the Swiss star who currently sits World #22 in the short course rankings but has a multitude of top long course results to her name, including fifth at the PTO Tour Canadian Open in 2022.
Finally, Norwegian Olympic hopeful Solveig Løvseth, who won IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells by almost two minutes ahead of Tamara Jewett in December, could have been another exciting addition to the tour.