The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) today announced the final athlete line-up and broadcast presentation team for the inaugural PTO Pro Am, to be held this Sunday, May 15, at the Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles and streamed live for free around the world.
The event will see six of the world’s top professional athletes race an Olympic-distance course alongside Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) athletes and special guests including former UFC star Paul Felder and Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell. CAF athletes will kick-start the day with a 1500m swim in the beautiful pearlescent sea off Venice Beach. Once out of the water, they’ll tag in a highly-ranked PTO professional who’ll rip up the road over a 40km bike course finishing in downtown LA between the Crypto.com Arena and Microsoft Square, outside the Herbalife Nutrition HQ. From here, another CAF superstar, or one of our special guests, will complete a 10km run to close out this first-ever PTO Pro Am event.
The PTO is proud to work alongside the Challenged Athletes Foundation to celebrate life through sport at the first PTO Pro Am. The six teams taking on the challenge of the PTO Pro Am in LA are:
Swimming and track runner Haven Shepherd, PTO World #3 Lionel Sanders and former UFC star Paul Felder.
Swimmer and para climber Emily Gray, PTO World #8 Sam Long and swimmer and para-triathlete Rudy Garcia-Tolson.
Para-triathlete Allysa Seely, PTO World #4 Daniel Baekkegard and GTN presenter and Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell.
Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger, PTO World #11 Holly Lawrence and swimmer and para-triathlete Roderick Sewell.
Para-triathlete and hand cyclist Andre Kajlich, PTO World #7 Skye Moench and influencer and Herbalife ambassador Shirley Alvarez.
Para-triathlete Chris Hammer, PTO World #14 Heather Jackson and para-triathlete, cyclist and marathoner Willie Stewart.
MEET THE NEW BROADCAST TEAM
The first PTO Pro Am will be broadcast live and will also introduce the PTO’s new core broadcast presentation team. UFC commentator and triathlon convert, John Gooden, will be lead commentator beside longtime triathlon commentator Barrie Shepley. Meanwhile motorsports and athletics presenter, Rachel Stringer will present the coverage alongside Olympic bronze medallist Vicky Holland.
With a lifelong love of both team and individual sports, John Gooden was lured into the world of triathlon around seven years ago and hasn’t looked back, competing up to the full distance. An expert storyteller and immaculate researcher, he is probably best known for his UFC commentary but whatever the sport, it’s all about the athletes for Gooden.
“As much as I love the start line, mats or the octagon, there’s nothing quite like watching the performances of elite athletes at close quarters and celebrating them with a microphone,” says Gooden. “I’m proud to have my dream job and I’m excited about going on this new journey with the PTO and share my passion for triathlon and help tell the stories of these incredible athletes.”
Rachel Stringer has worked across a variety of broadcast sports, her expertise and obvious passion delivered in an engaging style that draws fans deeper into the world of the sport. Pit Lane Reporter for British Superbikes on Eurosport and World Athletics reporter, Stringer now brings her talents to the world of swim, bike, run.
Three-time Olympian Vicky Holland has been involved in triathlon for nearly two decades. 2014 Commonwealth bronze medallist, 2016 Olympic bronze medallist and 2018 World Triathlon Champion, Holland has had a spectacular short-course racing career. Throughout her life as a professional athlete, Holland has remained a true super fan of the sport. Always on point with her race-sharpened observations, Holland also adds a pure shot of enthusiasm to any race proceedings.
Barrie Shepley’s peerless experience in triathlon commentary sets him apart as one of the sport’s foremost authorities. Having been at the forefront of triathlon for nearly forty years, Shepley has attended every Olympic triathlon over a career that’s spanned over three decades in the sport. On hand with insight and anecdotes, Shepley’s encyclopaedic knowledge of triathlon makes him a key member of the team.
HOW TO WATCH
With the race line-up and the presenting team finalised, all that’s left is to enjoy the action as the broadcast unfolds from 5:45am local time (1:45pm BST). Fans will be able to sit back, relax and watch the race for free wherever they are in the world.
The PTO Pro Am will be streamed live to the PTO’s YouTube and Facebook channels and can also be watched via a selection of other broadcasters including Eurosport Player (Europe), Discovery+ (Europe, some exclusions apply), GCN+ (global, some exclusions apply), OutsideTV (global), BeIN Sport (USA and Canada) and CBC Sport Digital (Canada).
Following the event, PTO Pro Am highlights documentary will also be broadcast on Eurosport in Europe and Asia.
Tim Godfrey, Chief Marketing Officer, PTO, said: “We are delighted to have John, Rachel, Vicky and Barrie present coverage of our first ever PTO Pro Am which will be televised across the globe with some great broadcast partners in Eurosport, Discovery, CBC Sports, BeIN Sports and OutsideTV. The PTO Pro Am is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the powerful stories of CAF athletes alongside our own PTO professionals and special guests.”
To watch or find out more about how to watch, fans should head to the PTO Pro Am Watch page.