Loaded Fields for 70.3 Mont Tremblant plus Pro Series Update

The IRONMAN Pro Series has delivered us an action packed month of June, with one race each weekend. Things kicked off at the beginning of the month in Hamburg, where Jackie Hering won in her return to IRONMAN racing. The series next went to Boulder. Ellie Salthouse bagged her second win of the season, hitting the front of the race only in the last mile. Trevor Foley was impressive on the men’s side, hanging on to beat Pro Series leader Matt Hanson. Last weekend saw some fast and furious racing at IRONMAN Cairns. Hannah Berry and Matt Burton led Oceania to 5 of 6 podium finishes. We are quickly approaching the halfway point in the Pro Series, with 8 of 20 races done and dusted. Matt Hanson leads on the men’s side by more than 2,000 points. Kylie Simpson leads on the women’s side. The Pro Series drops back down to the 70.3 distance this weekend in Mont Tremblant. The fields are stacked. Let’s dive into who is competing and then discuss how we think the standings will look by the end of next month.

Mont Tremblant Women’s Field

Findlay versus Sodaro:

Paula Findlay and Chelsea Sodaro are the favorites, coming into this race, on paper. Findlay has been nothing but consistent to begin her 2024 season. She came 4th at T100 Miami, 3rd at 70.3 Oceanside, won 70.3 St. George, and was most recently 6th at T100 San Francisco. Sodaro opened her season early, with a trio of races in New Zealand from January to March. She was impressive at IRONMAN New Zealand, beating a quality field by more than 17 minutes. Her transition back to her home training base has been bumpy. She was a DNF at T100 Singapore and a DNS at T100 San Francisco. Prior to San Francisco she wrote on her Instagram, “After some setbacks over the last several weeks I’ve decided to prioritize my mental and physical health as I get back to full training.” If all goes well for both athletes on Sunday, Findlay will come off of the bike first with Sodaro looking to run her down. This should be a good midseason test for both athletes.

Contenders 1A:

Eliie Salthouse has the ability to win this race. She can swim with Findlay. The key for her will be to try to better manage her deficit on the bike. At St. George, she outran Findlay by a little less than 2 minutes. She was, however, gapped by more than 4 minutes on the bike. That put her 2:30 down at the finish. Salthouse was battling sickness at 70.3 Boulder. She should be in even better form for this race. Sara True was 3rd in her only race of the season at 70.3 Chattanooga. She showed that she can swim and bike with top 70.3 athletes. Tamara Jewett will look to do well on home soil. After DNFs at T100 Miami and 70.3 Oceanside, she was 10th at T100 San Francisco. She had the slowest bike but then turned in the fastest run. The Mont Tremblant bike course has plenty of elevation gain. That will probably leave her with a lot of work to do on the run. Look for Jewett to use this race as a springboard to get back to where she was last season.

Contenders 1B:

Grace Thek began her year with a pair of domestic podiums. She was 4th at 70.3 Oceanside and most recently took 12th at T100 San Francisco. As a former collegiate runner, she still has more potential in that leg of the race. Jeanni Metzler was 4th at 70.3 St. George in her only start this season. She is still looking to get back to her 2021 fitness, which saw her take 2nd at the 70.3 World Championships. Jodie Stimpson will most likely lead out the swim and is an excellent biker. Look to see if she can have a stronger run this weekend. Alice Alberts was 5th at IRONMAN Texas and 6th at 70.3 Chattanooga. She will use this race to boost her position in the Pro Series standings.

Our Picks:

Expect Rachel Zilinskas and Jodie Stimpson to lead out the swim, with a small gap to the main contenders. If anybody not named Paula Findlay wants to win this race, they need to not let her ride away on the bike. Findlay won on a similar course, in terms of elevation gain on the bike and run, in St. George. This race features some stronger runners who could give her trouble.

Mont Tremblant Men’s Field

The Lion Returns (as the favorite):

Lionel Sanders is back, after suffering an unprovoked stress fracture in his ribs. He was dominant at 70.3 Oceanside, beating friendly rival Sam Long, who has been tearing it up on the T100 Tour, by over a minute. He was forced to take a break from swimming for a month and said in his latest YouTube video that he has been training 100% indoors for this race. He faces a strong field here but should still be considered the one to beat. His swimming might have taken a small step back but he had one of his best lifetime swim performances in Oceanside. He should be in position to work his way to the front of the race on the bike and then battle whoever comes into T2 with him on the run.


Jackson Laundry will look to have, yet, another battle with Sanders. He was 3rd at Oceanside and was most recently 15th at T100 San Francisco. Laundry is one of the best middle distance specialists not on the T100 Tour. He can swim and bike with Sanders. The two Canadians could very well be fighting for a domestic victory on Sunday. Matthew Marquardt is lining up for his 2nd race of the season. He was 4th at IRONMAN Texas, after leading the race through the midway point of the run. Marquardt can swim and bike at the front of this race. We will see if he has improved his run enough to better contend in a field like this. I do not even think it is fair, given the quality in competition, to say that Ben Kanute has been struggling on the T100 Tour. His best result in 3 races, however, is 12th. His aim is to punch his ticket for the 70.3 World Championships. Let’s see if he can use this race to show that he is still one of the best middle distance triathletes out there. Chris Leiferman and Cam Wurf are two more strong athletes on this start list. They might be more suited to the IRONMAN distance but can compete at the front of this race. Further down this start list, look for athletes like Cody Beals, Justin Riele, Colin Szuch, and Bart Aernouts, to try to rack up some Pro Series points.

Our Picks:

This feels like a classic Sanders race, where he will work with other strong riders to bridge his way to the front of the race. The rest of the field should worry about how quickly he is able to do this since he is probably the fastest runner in this race too. Look for Sanders to take full points at another 70.3 race and get his season back on track.

IRONMAN Pro Series Standings and Projections:

There are just two Pro Series races in July but they are both full distance races. We should really see some movement in the standings, as more and more athletes start to put together more full point totals. Remember that you can have a maximum of 3 140.6 races count. Also remember that the 70.3 and 140.6 World Championships are more heavily weighted. Athletes that position themselves well now, and have solid results at those events, can challenge for the overall series win. It is possible that athletes who do well at championship events will not score at enough races to take the overall series. By the end of July, we should get a clearer picture of who can actually win this thing. After July, male racers will have one more non-championship IRONMAN race left on the calendar. Female racers will just have the World Championship. Every second truly matters moving forward.

Photos: Ironman/Getty Images