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PTO Tour Asian Open Predictions: Haug vs Gentle vs LCB – who wins battle of the big three?

Our picks for the massive weekend showdown in Asia.

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The start lists for the PTO Tour Asian Open in Singapore this weekend give us a stellar cast of athletes set to put on an enthralling battle for a massive cash prize.

In the women’s race, Aussie Ashleigh Gentle – widely regarded as one of the best in the world over the 100km distance – will seek to finish the PTO calendar on a high note with her first win of the season, after consecutive runner-ups at the European and US Open. Standing in her way, however, will be PTO Tour European Open winner Anne Haug, plus a string of other big names.

In our predictions piece below, we list the leading contenders for the win, along with some dark horses that you should keep an eye on, plus our podium picks. If you want to share your thoughts on who will take the tape in Singapore this weekend, you can share them with us on our social media channels, available by clicking here and here.

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Leading Contenders

After finishing second behind Taylor Knibb (who will not be racing) at the PTO Tour US Open in Milwaukee at the beginning of the month, Gentle will be race-sharp and ready to go when the gun goes off in Singapore. Following four consecutive PTO podiums, the former WTCS Grand Final winner will be chasing her third win on the tour this weekend.

PTO European Open 2023 women podium Anne Haug Ashleigh Gentle Lucy Charles Barclay photo credit PTO
[Photo credit: PTO]

Having progressed well since her last encounter with Anne Haug at the PTO Tour European Open, Gentle will be relishing the chance to take on the German again, as well as Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay, who was a close third in Ibiza, having led for a large portion of the race.

Haug, who last raced at Challenge Roth where she finished second behind a trailblazing Daniela Ryf, has not lost over the middle distance this season and will look to regain her spot at the top of the PTO rankings after losing out to Gentle at the start of the year, with the German currently sitting at PTO World #3.

Charles-Barclay, third in Ibiza, has only raced twice so far this year following visa issues in Europe, with her only other race coming at IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau, where she finished in second behind Laura Philipp. She revealed this week that she had suffered a fractured metatarsal during that race, but is now fully recovered and ready to line up here.

Outside of the big three, American Chelsea Sodaro – who won the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona last year – is the only other athlete who could be deemed a leading contender, but has struggled so far this season, after a late withdrawal from the PTO Tour US Open followed back-to-back DNF’s at the European Open and Challenge Roth.

Dark Horses

When it comes to dark horses in Singapore, one athlete who springs to mind straight away is Marjolaine Pierre, the Frenchwoman who ran away with the World Triathlon Long Distance Championships in May. Twelfth at the PTO Tour US Open, Pierre could feature higher up in Singapore if she manages the post-race fatigue and travel right.

Another Milwaukee competitor, Aussie Ellie Salthouse, could be in for a good result. Third behind Charles-Barclay in Kraichgau in one of her strongest performances of the season, Salthouse again performed in Milwaukee, finishing a creditable sixth after a fierce battle with long-time rival Holly Lawrence.

Americans Sarah True and Jocelyn McCauley, who both juggle parenthood with professional triathlon, are two other names with the capacity to produce a shock result, with True making her debut on the PTO Tour after winning IRONMAN Frankfurt in her last race and McCauley coming back from 19th in Milwaukee.

Sara Perez Sala The Championship 2022 run course
Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade

Finally, Spaniard Sara Perez Sala, who in 2022 won Challenge The Championship, has an outside chance of finishing inside the top five, with her best result on the tour so far coming on home turf in Ibiza, where she finished in 14th place against a truly world-class field.

Verdict & Podium Picks

Unlike the men’s race, the podium for the women’s race seems pretty straightforward bar disaster, with the podium from Ibiza looking likely to challenge for the win again in Singapore, with the real question mark being who comes out on top.

Whilst Gentle has raced her way into form since the last showdown between the trio, Charles-Barclay and Haug have opted for a much lighter race schedule as they also look towards Kona in October.

With Hawaii just eight weeks away, Singapore might well have come at the perfect time for Anne and Lucy, with the race falling at a point in the season where general fitness is high, but the specificity required for Kona hasn’t yet taken precedence in the training programme.

If Gentle has recovered properly from a hard race in Milwaukee, it will be a very interesting matchup. For any other athletes, the lack of recent races would be a concern, but for seasoned professionals such as Haug and LCB, a long break between races isn’t going to be a major factor and will more than likely work in their favour.

In my mind, Haug has the best running ability in the sport and over the 100km distance, Charles-Barclay just won’t have the real estate in the swim and the bike to build the sort of gap that she needs to really put the German under pressure. Gentle will feature at the front, but I think will be battling Charles-Barclay for the runner-up spot, with Haug home and dry on the run.

Women’s Race Podium:

  1. Anne Haug.
  2. Lucy Charles-Barclay.
  3. Ashleigh Gentle.

When does the race start?

For the women’s race at the PTO Tour Asian Open, the action kicks off on Saturday, August 19. The race will begin at 15:15 local time, which corresponds to 08:15 in the UK and 09:15 CET.

In America, triathlon fans will have to be up bright and early to watch the action, with the race starting at 00:15 on the West Coast, which corresponds to 03:15 on the East Coast.

How to watch the race live

In Europe the race will be broadcast live on Eurosport, with global coverage also available via the new PTO+ app and a range of global broadcast partners and streaming services. Full details of those HERE on the PTO website.

If you are outside of Europe and the Indian Subcontinent, you can watch the action completely for free, on either the PTO+ app, YouTube or your local broadcast provider.

Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
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