Gustav Iden is poised to be crowned as PTO World No. 1 for 2021. In his victory in Florida over the weekend at his first long-distance race, Iden scored 107.23 PTO World Ranking Points, the second-highest score for a full-distance race in 2021, just below the stellar performance of 2x World Champion Patrick Lange at Tulsa, where Lange scored 108.88 PTO World Ranking Points. Combined with Iden’s 110.18 points scored at the IM 70.3 World Championship® and the 111.34 points he scored at The Collins Cup, this gives Iden a nearly unassailable average of 109.62 PTO World Ranking Points.
With Jan Frodeno, PTO World No. 2, announcing that he is not expected to race again this season, Iden is set to finish the season as PTO World No. 1. This will be the first year since the PTO Rankings began in 2016 that Frodeno has not been PTO World No. 1 and might signal that the Changing of the Guard has well and truly begun.
The PTO World Rankings are based on the average number of PTO World Ranking Points that an athlete has earned for their three best races in 2021. Frodeno’s best three races are 112.86 points at The Collins Cup, 107.51 points at Challenge Miami and 88.10 points at Challenge Gran Canaria, giving him an average of 102.82 PTO World Rankings Points. Should Frodeno decide to race again before December 31 and was to score 108.52 or more PTO World Rankings Points, he would reclaim the PTO World No. 1 ranking.
If Frodeno indeed calls it a season, Iden is all but guaranteed to finish PTO World Number 1 for 2021 and scoop up $100,000 of the $2,000,000 PTO World Rankings Bonus pool. Combined with his PTO Championship win at Daytona and his earnings at The Collins Cup, the young Norwegian Superstar will have earned $280,000 in prize money from the PTO.
Ironman Florida also saw Lionel Sanders move up the PTO World Rankings. Sanders scored 98.96 PTO World Ranking Points, moving his average to 99.50, and from PTO World No. 6 to PTO World No. 3. While his second-place finish in Florida earned Sanders $9,000 in prize money, moving up three spots in the PTO World Rankings has increased his potential year-end bonus by $30,000, as PTO World No. 3 receives $80,000 and PTO World No. 6 receives $50,000.
While the men’s PTO World No. 1 has been settled with Gustav Iden grabbing the crown, it is all still to play for with the women and the battle for PTO World No. 1 looks like it will be decided on December 4th at Clash Daytona, which sees PTO World No. 1 Lucy Charles-Barclay, PTO World No. 3 Laura Phillip, and PTO Word No. 5 Anne Haug all on the start-list and capable of capturing the PTO World No. 1 title.
The PTO World Ranking system is designed to provide a mechanism to properly compensate PTO Professionals based on their achievements throughout the year, as opposed to having a structure where economics hinge predominately on one or two specific races. PTO Professionals race hard all year, and the PTO World Ranking system mitigates the current situation where if they have one bad race, they can lose a significant amount of their earning capacity.