The athlete-backed Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) has partnered with event organizer Do North Events and Edmonton, Canada, to deliver the first-ever Canadian Open, which will be held in the city on July 23 and 24.

The event is part of the inaugural PTO Tour, a new series that brings the PTO’s existing flagship triathlon events under one banner.

It is the season opener and will mark the introduction of age group racing by the PTO for the first time.

Stephen Bordeau, general manager at Do North Events, said: “Do North Events is excited to partner with PTO to deliver the first-ever PTO Canadian Open. Triathlon has been a signature sport in our city for over 20 years, and this summer fans will see some new names on the pro circuit along with familiar faces like our very own Olympian, Paula Findlay.

“An exciting new course for professional and age-group athletes will be sure to make it a thrilling weekend of racing. Thank you to all of our partners who helped make this happen including the City of Edmonton, Explore Edmonton, and the athletes and staff at the PTO.”

Sam Renouf, chief executive at PTO, said: With over 20 years of experience organizing major international events, Do North Events (formerly World Triathlon Series Edmonton) has the knowledge, passion, and expertise to deliver an outstanding inaugural PTO Canadian Open in a city that has a long history of celebrating this incredible sport and its superhuman athletes.”

Other events on the PTO Tour include the Collins Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia, on August 20 and 21, the US Open in Dallas, Texas, on September 17 and 18, the Asian Open, and the European Open – details for the last two of which have yet to be confirmed.

Each event, which will have a $1,000,000 prize pool and will see participants take on a 2km swim, 80km bike race, and an 18km run.

Meanwhile, the PTO has also announced the appointment of Lisa Bentley to its board.

Bentley is an 11-time winner of Ironman long-distance triathlon competitions and was the captain of Team USA for the inaugural Collins Cup team triathlon event last year.

Since retiring from competition, she has “organized races across Canada, managed sponsorships for Ironman, coordinated sponsorship for professional athletes, and coached both professional and amateur athletes.”

In addition, she Lisa delivers inspirational talks, has written a book, and worked as a television commentator for Canada's CBC public broadcaster at the 2012 and 2020 Olympic Games.

Bentley said: “It is an honor to be able to serve as a PTO Board Member. It is fantastic for PTO professionals after so many years to finally have an organization of their own so that collectively, they can support the sport. I am grateful for all the work done by the existing board members in establishing the organization and look forward to working with the other board members to contribute to the vision of the PTO as we seek to support and work with all the stakeholders in the triathlon community and continue to grow an organization that is proving to be a model for professional sport.”

Charles Adamo, executive chairman of the PTO, added: “Lisa was one the first advisors we reached out to when we began the journey of establishing the PTO. She was very generous with her time and saw the vision when most thought it was a pipedream. Her wisdom and guidance were invaluable to the organization, and we are pleased to now have her officially part of the PTO board.

She not only brings a wealth of experience from her life as a professional triathlete, but she will also be able to provide valuable insights in helping PTO Professionals navigate successful transitions once their racing careers have ended. Lisa’s energy and drive could power a small city and her indomitable spirit is a walking manifestation of the PTO motto, 'Dum Spiro, Spero – Whilst I breathe, I hope'. The PTO and its PTO Professionals are very grateful she has agreed to join the team.”