T100 Miami Field Analysis and Predictions

Editor's Note: Meet our new T100 beat writer! David will be writing our race reports for the T100 events as well as providing his analysis pre-race on how fields will shake up. We hope you enjoy the addition to our editorial team.

The T100 tour officially kicks off this weekend in Miami! Contracted athletes are earning a fixed salary, marking a big change in economics for professional triathletes. They can also earn prize money at individual tour stops and for final placement in the series standings. With top professionals living and training a little more comfortably, might athletes continue to break barriers and push the limits of this sport? Miami is our first real chance to see. With some lateness in location and athlete announcements, some questions remain about how smoothly things will go this weekend. What we do know is that when the gun goes off, the competition will be fierce to win the first ever T100 race. Here’s who we expect to be contending up front on Saturday, followed by my podium picks.

Women's Race

Tier 1A Favorites

Lucy Charles-Barclay: Fresh off of her first win in Kona in 2023, Lucy is dialed in on the T100 tour in 2024. She has said that she will not be defending her IRONMAN world title in Nice to focus on becoming the first winner of the T100 tour. If anybody can do it, she can. We know that she will be leading out most of the swims this year and then putting down a strong bike split. What we will be looking at early in the season is her run form. The fast, 22 lap, bike course around the Homestead-Miami Speedway might not allow her to put enough time on the field for the run not to matter. We will be looking to see if Lucy is fully healthy and if her run is where it needs to be to hold off a field full of strong runners.

Anne Haug: In her six starts last season, Anne finished 1st or 2nd. She won the PTO European Open, and was 2nd in Roth, Kona, and at the PTO Asian Open. Known for her success in Kona over the years, she has not seemed bothered dropping down to the 100k distance. In what should be a warm run on Saturday, we would expect arguably the best runner in the sport to chase down a top spot.

Tier 1B Favorites

Kat Matthews: After being struck by a driver in 2022, Kat had a remarkable comeback season in 2023. She went back to the site of her accident early in the year and won IRONMAN Texas. As if that wasn’t enough, she took 2nd at the 70.3 World Champs in Finland. Her run leg was impressive in that race, as she had the 2nd fastest split and held off a number of strong competitors late in the race.

Paula Findlay: You’re not going to find as many consistent athletes as Paula Findlay. She hasn’t finished outside of the top-10 in a triathlon since 2019. Last year, her results ranged from 1st to 5th. Paula was 5th at the PTO European Open and 3rd at the PTO US Open. She even represented Canada in the Women’s Time Trial at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, finishing in 25th. Expect a strong ride from her this weekend.

Daniela Ryf: After winning Roth last year, Daniela managed 9th at 70.3 Worlds and 5th in Kona. The latter are both solid results but not quite what we’ve come to expect from Daniela over the years. She recently announced that this will be her last year competing as a professional. Let’s see if she has any magic left in her.

The Rest of the Field: Contracted Athletes and Wild Cards

There are some strong athletes that fill up the rest of the start list but most of them will need a lot to go right to land on the podium. Look for a well-rounded triathlete like Imogen Simmonds to challenge up front. Strong runners like Emma Pallant-Browne (recent 32:33 10k) and Tamara Jewett could move up well late in this race. Lucy Byram and Sara Perez Sala are two more intriguing athletes. Lucy was 4th at the US Open, beating seven women on this start list. She also won Clash Miami in 2023.

Sara has been 4th at Clash Miami twice in her career. She was also 7th at the PTO Asian Open last year. She is one of the strongest swimmers in this field and should come out of the water close to Lucy Charles-Barclay. Her run needs to become more competitive for her to be considered a true podium threat. While a strong cyclist, Paula Findlay put 6 minutes into her bike split at 70.3 Cabo in November. We’ll see how long she can stay on Lucy’s wheel if they come out of the water together.

Women's Podium Prediction

Lucy Charles-Barclay, Anne Haug, Lucy Byram

Men's Race

Can the Americans Win?

With four Americans on the start list, and three in the top-9 in the PTO rankings, a win on home soil is not out of the question.Jason West leads the American charge and is one of the race favorites. He was 5th at the PTO European Open, 3rd at the PTO US Open, and 2nd at the PTO Asian Open. He had the fastest run split in 2 out of 3 of those races. Only Kristian Blummenfelt ran faster than him in Singapore. Jason also won Clash Miami last year. He knows this venue and knows what it takes to get onto the podium at big races.

Rudy Von Berg had a disappointing PTO European Open but was 4th in Nice and then won IRONMAN Florida. The race car track bike course should be right up his alley. Sam Long raced 11 times last season and was 5th in both of his PTO races. He has already raced in 2024, winning 70.3 Pucon. Sam has won Clash Miami in the past and has done well in early season races. It’s hard to predict where everyone’s fitness will be in March. We know Sam is fine racing at any time of the year. Ben Kanute is the last American in the field and has been 3rd at Clash Miami twice. Expect him to be towards the front of the swim pack. Americans will put their stamp on this race but a number of people will be fighting to deny them the win.

Other Podium Contenders

Magnus Ditlev: On paper, Magnus is the highest ranked PTO athlete entered. His results in 2023 encompassed a little bit of everything. He was 3rd at the PTO European Open. He then dominated Roth in a time of 7:24:40. After a DNF at the PTO US Open, he was 3rd in Nice and 5th at Ironman Florida. In Nice, Sam Laidlow put 4 minutes into him on the bike and Patrick Lange outran him by more than 8 minutes. Magnus is a strong swimmer and will quickly get to the front of the bike on Saturday. Similar to Lucy Charles-Barclay, we’ll be looking to see if Magnus can hang onto whatever lead he’s built up on the bike. A warm day could allow some of the faster runners to make things interesting. If Magnus is on, there aren’t many people who can beat him.

Pieter Heemeryck: When you come 2nd to Kristian Blummenfelt at a PTO race, you get put on Podium Watch. Pieter was a DNF in Nice but closed out the year by winning 70.3 Knokke-Heist and Ironman Portugal. As one of the strongest riders in this field, he could really put his stamp on this race. Expect him to come out of the water with Magnus. If Magnus doesn’t drop him on the bike, then you would have to be worried about him on the run head to head.

Others to keep an eye on -- look for young guns like Mathis Margirier (4th PTO US Open, 4th 70.3 Worlds) and Rico Bogen (the reigning IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds Champ) to compete for a podium spot. Leon Chevalier and Daniel Baekkegard will both be looking for breakthroughs against a quality field like this.

Which Sam Laidlow Will We Get?

In big races last year, Sam was 8th at Roth, a DNF at the PTO Asian Open, and then he won the IRONMAN World Championship in Nice. You can’t ignore his talent but you also can’t ignore his inconsistency. He’s also in the midst of an International Testing Agency (ITA) investigation for alleged anti-doping violations and subsequently fired off a social media post defending himself that he later deleted. Your guess is as good as mine if you know what kind of a headspace he’s in coming into the season and what kind of shape he’ll be in.

Do the Former ITU Stars Have Anything Left?

Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez both have T100 contracts. They’re legends in the sport and are still capable of big performances. Will we see them challenge at the front of T100 races or will this serve as a victory lap for them? I can’t see them just being happy to be on the start line. Expect them to give top effort. We’ll just have to see what that gets them.

Men's Podium Picks

Magnus Ditlev, Jason West, Pieter Heemeryck