On the 17th September, the PTO Tour hopped off at a sweltering Dallas TX. Temperatures high, tensions higher, a super strong field of athletes went head-to-head in the heat for the $1 million dollar prize purse. The women’s race won by Ashleigh Gentle, fending off efforts to end her unbeaten 2022 season on the PTO Tour from US short course expert, Taylor Knibb, and former PTO World Rank number 1, Lucy Charles-Barclay, on her return to PTO racing!
This set up an intriguing men’s race on the Sunday, as the difficult conditions didn’t show any signs of letting up. Amongst the field in this race were ZONE3 athletes, Sam Appleton and Bradley Weiss repping their ZONE3 swimskins in some epic shots!
The swim leg consisted of a 2km swim in Lake Carolyn. Water temperatures were reported to sit around 27◦c, so it was swimskins all round for the athletes. Appleton’s compatriot, Aaron Royle was the first athlete to exit the water with the chasing pack following closely behind, including Appleton, who was P9 coming into T1. Weiss followed shortly behind, exiting the water in P20.
Sam Appleton: 26:51
Bradley Weiss: 27:43
The 80km bike course suited the bike specialists down to the ground. Flat and fast, the likes of Long and Sanders were able to put some serious time into the field. Appleton showed no signs of letting up and put in a great bike leg with the chasing pack, hunting down Angert and Laidlow. A bunched field meant Weiss came into T2 hot on the heels of the chasing pack in front of him.
Sam Appleton: 1:52:29
Bradley Weiss: 1:54:54
An 18km, 3-lap flat run stood between the athletes and the finish line – some wishing to see it earlier than others with the conditions as they were! One man who didn’t have such problems was Weiss, running an astonishing P5 on the run leg to cement himself a 15th place finish. Appleton battled hard on the run and showed signs of promise throughout the race to show he’ll be one to watch out for in Kona too!
Sam Appleton: 1:11:24
Bradley Weiss: 1:00:51
Fittingly, the podium was made up of two American athletes on home soil. Colin Chartier took top spot with an impressive all round performance, whilst Ditlev and Long rounded off the podium with incredibly gutsy performances.
Appleton and Weiss will be looking to build on these performances before they’re biggest event of the season in Kona for the IM World Championships!