The World Triathlon governing body and the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) have joined forces to recognize the PTO Tour as the official World Championship tour for long-distance triathlon.

Through an agreement unveiled today (August 16), the two organizations will work together to create “a season-long narrative for the world’s leading triathletes,” as a long-distance equivalent to the current World Triathlon Championship Series.

This is a major boost for the PTO Tour, which launched last year and is currently in its second season.

The new tour will take the form of a points-based competition, with titles in both men’s and women’s tours awarded at the end of the season, while five continental tours covering the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, are also being planned.

World Triathlon has also said it is now working together with the PTO “on a number of services,” such as anti-doping, competition jury appeals, safeguarding and manipulation, technical support, as well as what has been described as “an extensive marketing and commercial collaboration between both organizations.”

Marisol Casado, president of World Triathlon, said: “Today marks a significant milestone as World Triathlon proudly announces this ground-breaking agreement with the PTO. This collaboration signifies a powerful alliance that underscores our shared commitment to elevating the sport of triathlon to new heights.

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“By joining forces, we harness the collective passion, expertise, and dedication of both organizations to drive positive change and innovation within the triathlon community.”

Chris Kermode, the PTO’s executive chair (in place since October last year), added: “When new formats and organizations emerge in sport, they often have the unintended impact of fragmenting the very sport they aim to promote.

“In contrast, by uniting together the professional athlete body of the PTO with the international federation of World Triathlon, this partnership has the opportunity to unite the sport under the common goal of growing triathlon – which is essential for the sport to become mainstream.”

The PTO was originally formed in 2014, with the agreement of a funding deal with venture capitalist Michael Moritz in 2020 one of the main factors behind its expansion and growth in recent years.

The PTO Tour is currently readying itself for its first-ever Asian Open in Singapore, on August 19 and 20.