PTO Canadian Open Releases Details of Edmonton Event | Sports Destination Management

PTO Canadian Open Releases Details of Edmonton Event

Jul 21, 2022

The Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) has announced the broadcast presentation team for live coverage of the 2022 PTO Tour’s first event, the PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton on July 23-24.

Anchored by sports presenter Alex Payne, the commentary team in Alberta will feature Belinda Granger and Barrie Shepley, with Vicky Holland providing on-the-ground insight for the US$1 million women’s and men’s elite races as they unfold.

Following his debut in triathlon last year, as part of the presentation team for the PTO’s inaugural Collins Cup, Alex Payne is back for more in Canada. He said “Bizarrely, the lack of personal affinity with triathlon was part of the appeal – the chance to learn about the extraordinary challenge the sport presents, the characters within it, the tactics, the locations and the history.

“You don’t often get an opportunity to dive into something with so much colour and appeal, and so many stories that deserve to be told on a much broader scale.”

He continued, “For someone outside the sport, the ability to put your body into places that most normal people could never achieve is fascinating. And the fact that most of them don’t even see it makes it even more remarkable.

“It’s obviously on us as broadcasters to grow the appeal, the awareness and the engagement – but I also think the athletes need to be helped in understanding just how extraordinary their achievements are, and how strong their message is, to the armchair viewer.

“That’s the bit that excites me – and being able to develop a consistent and engaging narrative over the PTO Tour season, underpinned by the PTO Rankings.”

Belinda Granger is a former professional triathlete with over 30 year’s experience in the sport. She has completed 50 iron distance races, has 15 IRONMAN titles including five top ten finishes at the IM World Championships and has been inducted into the Australian IM hall of fame.

Granger was an integral part of the PTO 2020 Championship and 2021 Collins Cup Broadcast Team and will be leveraging her triathlon insight.

Barrie Shepley has been involved with triathlon for nearly 40 years. He has attended every Olympic Games featuring triathlonand over 40 World Championships and has over three decades of live commentary experience in the sport.

Vicky Holland has raced short course triathlon for over 15 years, winning five World Series events during that time with many more podiums. She has three Commonwealth medals, a European Silver medal, a Bronze medal from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the World Triathlon World Champion in 2018.

The team will work alongside multi-award-winning director, Martin Turner, who will head the broadcast team as Executive Producer.

“The beauty of sport is watching those ‘wow’ moments,” said Turner. “That’s why we buy into the athletes as heroes, because they can do things we can only dream of.

“The mission for all of us on the PTO Tour broadcast team is to capture those moments and then take them to the biggest possible audience.”

Turner continued, “The best athletes haven’t really gone head-to-head that often before. But already at the PTO Canadian Open, we’ll have the top men – Norwegian’s Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden plus Canadian Lionel Sanders, all racing against each other for the first time this season.

“And in the women’s race, we’ll have 17 of the world’s top 25 PTO ranked athletes, led by hometown hero and World #10 Paula Findlay, who grew up racing in Edmonton.”

The PTO Canadian Open will be live and exclusive in Europe and the Indian Sub-Continent on Eurosport 1, Eurosport App, Discovery+ and GCN+. Elsewhere, fans can catch the races on a number of national broadcasters or via the PTO’s soon-to-be announced OTT platform.

The PTO Tour race schedule for 2022 includes: the inaugural PTO Canadian Open (July 23-24); the second edition of the PTO’s flagship US$1.5 million Collins Cup (August 20) and the first PTO US Open in Dallas (September 17-18).

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