The Collins Cup, Even Super Bowl One Didn’t Sell Out, But it Was a Pretty Good Start–a Few Ideas for the Future

By Bill Plock

In 1966 Lamar Hunt unknowingly named the Super Bowl. The owner of the Kansas City Chiefs in the American Football League led a movement to compete with the National Football League. The champions of each league would play each other in a championship game in 1967 leading to a future merger of the leagues. Lamar Hunt wrote NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle a letter in July of 1966, “I have kiddingly called it the ‘Super Bowl,’ which obviously can be improved upon.” He later said the named popped into his head watching his kids play with a super ball. That super ball, along with Lamar Hunt are the in the Football Hall of Fame and we all know “Super Bowl” stuck and it’s one of the most watched events on the planet. But that first game didn’t even sell out, it takes time.

Triathlon’s “Super Bowl” happened today in Slovakia, it was called the Collins Cup. Yes we have Kona and the IRONMAN World Championships but that is about individuals, today was about the teams and the sport and profession of triathlon.

The Collins Cup was designed to mirror golf’s popular Ryder Cup pitting three teams of 12 athletes (6 men, 6 women) against each other. One team from Europe, the United States and Internationals. 

The goal, to make professional triathlon a better spectator sport thus attracting more money to make the profession more lucrative and sustainable. 

Will it work? Did it work? It’s too early to say but nobody predicted the wild popularity of the Super Bowl. Triathlon will never be that popular but lets see what happens. 

The Professional Triathlon Organisation orchestrated this “made for TV event”. Viewers watched 12 matches with one competitor from each team racing. Each match started 10 minutes apart. The entire race lasted about 5 hours. Cameras were all over the course capturing the 36 athletes racing in their own three person race. It was fun to watch and the coverage was good as was the announcing. It was especially fun to have Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett behind the mic. His voice just adds a tone of familiarity and importance. 

Team Europe won, followed by the United States and the the Internationals. No surprise there. 

By far the story of the day was U.S’s Taylor Knibb, again. She absolutely crushed her competition and notably IRONMAN World Champion and number one ranked Daniela Ryf. Taylor beat her by almost 17 minutes. By far the largest gap of any match of the day. Her final time of 3:30 was the best time by almost four minutes over any women and only three minutes behind IRONMAN male World Champion Patrick Lange! And Taylor did it on a road bike!

Said 303 Podcast Director, Rich Soares, “Having the best triathletes in the world racing for teams makes for great competition.  Having the fantasy competition really added to the engagement and the eventual upsets and surprises.  I Loved seeing the Olympians race against long course champions.  My big question, where was Olympic gold medalist Flora Duffy?  Knibb vs. Duffy right now would be Pay-Per-View worthy!”

But let’s break down the event. It’s a good start if you like triathlon, know some of these athletes and understand what they are trying to do. A better start if you have raced long course to appreciate the speed. And a fabulous start if you know anything about the Ryder cup and how match play works. But even if you don’t know the Ryder cup, the announcers did a good job of explaining what was going on and how the points were earned. Where beating competitors by more minutes meant more team points. That alone kept every race important and each athlete motivated to stay close. The motivation of working for the team was very real. We heard Jan Frodeno say how hard it was when he was told with 2k to go that if he could increase his lead by 30 seconds it would mean an extra point for his team. And he did just that—busted a move and exhausted himself even with a comfortable lead over Sam Appleton. 

The points were key to making the races compelling. Otherwise there were almost no close finishes and little shoulder to shoulder running and drama at the finish line. I think that needs to change somehow. Having 12 matches and virtually no finish line drama was a bit of a miss. 

The television coverage was good with plenty of coverage all over the course. And the interactive “maps” showing arial views of where the athletes were, sort of like Harry Potter’s Maurader map, was cool. I would’ve like to see a huge arial map showing where all athletes were on the course with “flags” showing speed/pace. 

One thing that was severely lacking, and would’ve added a lot of energy were spectators. Even more riding through towns with fans, but there were barely any. And the finish line was small and not very electric. That was disappointing. 

Rich Soares adds, “The Olympics is a hard act to follow.  After weeks of Olympic village and Odaiba Park with it’s massive blue carpet area, I was a little underwhelmed by the Collins Cup venue.  Great camera angles and on course coverage no doubt.  Being right after the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic might be limiting, but I would love to see this in a bigger city with crowds next time.”

I thought they (PTO) might steal some ideas from NASCAR and feature more data like heart rates and watts and give more stats like min/mile, mph and other effort indications. I think more of that data would be appealing to non-triathlete watchers who get speed and data. I’m sure getting athletes to agree to reveal that data might be hard. 

In general I liked format and match ups. I felt the racing was a bit lonely with not enough dueling on the course. Maybe matches should be with 6 or even 9 athletes so teams can work a bit together on the course with more potential for drama at the finish line. 

But I also have a Super Bowl ticket stub when a ticket cost $30 and my dad thought that was crazy. $30 might get you a parking spot a mile from the stadium these days. You gotta start somewhere! 

By the way the fantasy aspect Rich talked about; fans and media could predict the outcomes and fans could win prizes. I took a few chances hoping for some upsets but finished in the middle of the pack of the Team US media. The European Press mimicked the European athletes and kicked ass!

The final standings:

INDIVIDUAL MATCH RESULTS

Match 1 
Taylor Knibb USA 3:30:11 – 6 points
Daniela Ryf EUR +16:43 – 3.5 points
Teresa Adam INT +22:58 – 1 point 

Match 2 
Lucy Charles-Barclay EUR 3:33:46 – 5 points
Katie Zaferes USA +4:16 – 2 points
Paula Findlay INT +4:53 – 1 point 

Match 3
Jackie Hering USA 3:35:19 – 4 points
Anne Haug EUR +2:23 – 2 points
Jeanni Metzler INT +3:24 – 1 point

Match 4
Ellie Salthouse INT 3:38:36 – 4.5 points
Skye Moench USA +2:01 – 2.5 points
Holly Lawrence EUR +5:29 – 1 point  

Match 5 
Emma Pallant-Browne EUR 3:34:45 – 4.5 points
Chelsea Sodaro USA +1:13 – 3.5 points
Sarah Crowley INT +8:27 – 1 point  

Match 6
Katrina Matthews EUR 3:35:12 – 5.5 points
Jocelyn McCauley USA +5:42 – 3 points
Carrie Lester INT +10:42 – 1 point 

Match 7
Jan Frodeno EUR 3:20:22 – 5 points
Sam Appleton INT +4:38 – 2 points
Sam Long USA +5:09 – 1 point 

Match 8
Gustav Iden EUR 3:13:28 – 6 points
Collin Chartier USA +7:13 – 2 points 
Kyle Smith INT + 7:16 – 1 point

Match 9
Lionel Sanders INT 3:19:13 – 3 points
Sebastian Kienle EUR +1:06 – 2 points 
Andrew Starykowicz USA +1:51 – 1 point  

Match 10
Daniel Baekkegard EUR 3:15:27 – 4.5 points
Ben Kanute USA +1:23 – 3.5 points
Max Neumann INT +10:58 – 1 point  

Match 11
Braden Currie INT 3:27:13 – 5.5 points
Matt Hanson USA +5:16 – 2 points  
Patrick Lange EUR +6:44 – 1 point 

Match 12
Jackson Laundry INT 3:18:28 – 3.5 points
Joe Skipper EUR +00:38 – 2.5 points
Justin Metzler USA +3:45 – 1 point

TEAM STANDINGS

Team Europe – 42.5 points
Team US – 31.5 points
Team Internationals – 25.5 points

Fantasy Football, Why Not Fantasy Triathlon at the Collins Cup, Great Prizes

LONDON, ENGLAND: The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) today announced the Collins Cup Fantasy Competition that will take place in the run up to the Collins Cup in Samorin, Slovakia on August 28th, 2021.

The Collins Cup Fantasy Competition follows the well-received Tokyo fantasy game and utilises the PTO’s pioneering Race Data and Statistics site, which has given fans of the sport unrestricted access to current and historical racing data like never before. It is the next step in enhancing fan engagement and will be a fun way for Triathlon fans as well as all sports enthusiasts to follow the race.

The Collins Cup Fantasy Competition will feature the races of the inaugural Collins Cupwhere fans can predict which Team Europe, International and USA PTO Professionals will come 1st, 2nd & 3rd in each race match on 28th August 2021. The Collins Cup is the PTO’s flagship event and is a new race format modelled after the Ryder Cup, which will see teams of European, International and USA athletes pitted against one another and put on display the excitement, rivalry, drama, and personalities of the sport of triathlon.

The Collins Cup Fantasy Competition will start on August 25th as soon as Captains unveil their picks for the race matches at the Collins Cup Opening Ceremony, which will be broadcast on the PTO YouTube Channel, Collins Cup app and Collins Cup website beginning at 5pm BST/ 6pm CEST/12 noon EST.

The Grand Prize is an all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2022 Collins Cup. Second and third place finishers will receive a TAG Heuer connected watch with GPS, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope and heart rate sensor. In addition, there are many more prizes to be won courtesy of Wahoo, a premier partner of The Collins Cup, including Wahoo KICKR Bikes, Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainers and Wahoo ELEMNT RIVAL multisport watches, giving fans the chance to snag some fabulous triathlon merchandise as well as displaying their knowledge of triathlon by correctly predicting race outcomes. Sign up to play at protriathletes.org/fantasy.

Christophe Balestra, Chief Technology Officer of the PTO, stated: “The gamification of triathlon allows the PTO to engage and showcase the sport in new ways and to a much wider fan base. Given the passion of the triathlon audience, the fun format of the game and the prizes on offer, the Collins Cup Fantasy Competition will be enjoyable experience for fans”.

About the Professional Triathletes Organisation
The Professional Triathletes Organisation is a not-for-profit entity consisting of both men and women professional triathletes who have come together to form a representative body which not only gives them a meaningful voice in the way the sport operates but a means to contribute to its growth for the benefit of the entire triathlon community. The PTO seeks to showcase the passion, talents, determination, struggles and achievements of its dedicated professionals through iconic events, reimagined broadcast and compelling storytelling, inspiring global sports fans to watch, engage and participate in Triathlon. The PTO’s inaugural flagship event, The Collins Cup, will be held on 28th August 2021 in Samorin, Slovakia and will be a head-to-head showdown between the world’s greatest athletes to determine who rules triathlon.

Download and sign up FREE to watch live matches, exclusive content, live shows, replays, highlights, features, and electric archive footage.

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Live broadcast globally available on The Collins Cup player, excluding in Europe where the live broadcast will be exclusively available on Eurosport 2, the Eurosport player and Discovery+ in selected markets.

Find out how to watch The Collins Cup in your country here.

Meet Collin Chartier, 3rd at IM Boulder 70.3, Heading to Collins Cup for U.S.–Interesting Background.

By Bill Plock

A couple of weeks ago at IRONMAN Boulder 70.3, the Sam’s, Sam Long and Sam Appleton crossed the finish line first and second, to nobody’s surprise, but then came Collin Chartier. If you had taken a poll of spectators not many probably would’ve picked Collin to be next. But why?

A “peak behind the curtain” will tell you being on the podium totally made sense. Collin answers some questions about his career and background here. He will be a guest on an upcoming podcast on the 303Endurance Podcast.

  1. Can you give a brief overview of your career and how you ended up in Colorado

My dad did a sprint triathlon in the late 90s while we were living in Spain. I was only 4 years old at the time. I would like to say this is where it all started, but it didn’t. He hated swimming and never did another triathlon.

Living in Fairfax, Virginia, I swam year around for summer league, club, and high school teams and played soccer. In 2008 my friend from the swim team invited me to do the Dewey Beach Triathlon in Delaware, and this is where it all began. In 2010 I started competing in the Junior Elite series with Endorphin Fitness (Richmond, VA). 

After high school, Zane Castro recruited me for triathlon at Marymount University, the first collegiate varsity triathlon program at the time. I competed in the collegiate series and a few ITU races through out 2013-2017. 

Collin Happy at the finish line, photo: Khem Suthiwan

The day after my last final exam in 2017 I packed my car and drove out to Colorado. 

I spent the previous summer in Colorado, I was invited to the U23 elite camp at the Olympic Training Center in preparation for the FISU University Games in Nyon, Switzerland. It was at this race where I placed 9th, a few seconds off of Rudy Von Berg, where I started to believe in myself as a triathlete. A turning point in my career. My uncle lives in Littleton and he invited me to come out after graduating to support me training in Colorado. 

In 2018, I joined Origin Performance, Ian O’Brien’s ITU training group. This was my first exposer to a daily training environment among likeminded athletes. I raced 14 times in 12 countries that year. I learned a lot from that year, mostly what not to do in training and racing. 

I saw my first professional wins in 2019. I had started to figure out what it takes to perform at the continental cup and World Cup levels. My run had been my biggest challenge, always dealing with injuries and inconsistent volume. I started to stack consistent milage and create durability. The highlight of this year was my 11th place finish in the Miyazaki World Cup, running a 31:37. The previous year I placed 50th and had a terrible experience in the rough swim and just wanted to be done with the season. This cemented in me that I was improving and I could try for a World Cup podium in 2020. 

2020 was a challenging year. It began with a life threatening car accident in early February while I was on the way to the airport flying to the first races of the season. 

My body was beat and bruised, yet I still went to Honduras and Cuba for the first continental cups of the year where I didn’t perform too well. 

Then the pandemic happened and the racing season was put on hold. 

I went to Karlovy Vary World Cup in September as an alternate. I paid my own way and traveled independently. I flew into Croatia, rented a car and drove. At this point, travel from USA to the EU was banned and there was a lot of confusion as to who could travel. I was stopped at many borders in Europe and questioned. I didn’t get to compete in Karlovy Vary so I continued on to IM 70.3 Aix en Provence. When I got to Aix en Provence to check out the course, I got the announcement it had been cancelled. I arrived to Girona where my friend said there was a race going to happen, Platja de Aro half distance triathlon. I finally got an opportunity to compete and I won by almost 15 minutes. Little did I know this was a mistake, competing for no prize money or rankings. I learned after the race that I could go compete at the Spanish National Championships for half distance in Bilbao just 6 days away. I traveled to Bilbao and struggled through a wet and cold race, finishing 2nd to Javier Gomez Noya. After crossing the finish line, I could not walk. Something was wrong. I figured I had strained my hip flexors. 

I had been on the start list for Arzechena World Cup in Italy, 2 weeks after Bilbao. I am still in pain with walking and running, but I decide to go any way. I felt I could still race well. I crashed during the race and took all the skin off my butt, shoulders, and back. I had stitches and had been full body wrapped in gauze. 

Once back in Girona, Spain, I got my hip checked out and I had torn my hip flexors and adductors. I decided to end the season and start rehabbing the injuries. 

In my rehab, I discovered the sport of ski mountaineering and it did not cause pain in my hip, so I went all in. I started training daily and racing on the weekends. 

I started 2021 skimo racing in the US, doing 6 races with a few wins and podiums in Colorado and Utah. I even went as far as competing for the US at the ISMF World Cup Finals in Madonna di Campiglio Italy. After being competitive in the US races, I was brutally crushed among world class skimo athletes. I strongly believe you can learn the most when you are thrown into the deep end and learn to embrace uncomfortable situations. I am no stranger to being in over my head. 

If my skimo debut is an indicator of who I am, then what I do next is no surprise. 

I put myself on the start list for Challenge Mogan Gran Canarias, (a super stacked field!) just 4 weeks post skimo World Cup. I haven’t been swimming, biking, or running much while focusing on skimo. I jump start the triathlon training with a really intense 3 weeks of training and then a week taper into the race. 

I was testing whether or not skimo fitness would translate to triathlon performance. It turns out, it doesn’t. 

I placed 16th and just didn’t have the power on the bike or the durability to maintain run pace. Every run mile I positive split. It’s not bad for not much training, but I wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be fitness wise.

I returned to Colorado to put in a 2 month training block ahead of IM 70.3 Des Moines. 

I hadn’t made the conscious decision to commit to 70.3 racing full time, I was only following racing opportunities and to try to pay my bills. I was also getting the hint that USA Triathlon wanted me out of the picture during the Olympic qualification cycle. I had enough points that I could get on some of the few races happening during the pandemic and they wanted some their lower ranked athletes whom they support financially in those events, so I stayed clear of their political drama. 

I am now in the situation where I have had some success in 70.3 racing yet I still have the World Triathlon (previously ITU) points and drive to continue in short distance racing. I will have to decide at the end of the year which path to take. I know USA Triathlon has voiced to me that WT racing is incompatible with long course racing, but now we are seeing many athletes, like Taylor Knibb and the Norwegians, have success at both. This could be the first time in the history of our sport where we are seeing a blending among short and long course athletes, which I believe is overall positive. 

2. Do you like (or not like)  being a bit of an unknown in the 70.3 distance and what are the advantages and disadvantages to that?

It’s funny because I had become known for my 70.3 ability pretty quickly, just not among the US social circles. I have been in interviews in Colombia after my debut 70.3 and win in Cartagena 2019 and in articles ahead of the Spanish National Championships. I was projected to have a podium placing at Challenge Mogan among Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange. I had been more well known around the world then in the US. I am not sure there are any advantages to being unknown. I like the 70.3 races because you either have the fitness or you don’t, and the result doesn’t matter how well known you are. 

3. What did you learn most at the Boulder 70.3?

If Sam Long goes by, you better follow for as long you can. I made my move too late and he was gone. 

If you don’t commit to racing all out, you will seek the comfort of the group and the race will be dictated to you. 

Chainring selection is important, 58 tooth would have been wise for this course.

4. As a pro, what are the biggest challenges you face and what do you like most

Financial. I don’t have any sponsors and need to race to get a paycheck.

5. What is your greatest opportunity to get better

Time in the sport, consistent training year to year.

6. What other sports did you play growing up? Who are some of your sports heroes.

Swimming and soccer. Michael Phelps.

7. What interest do you have outside of Endurance sports? What did you study in College and what might you like to pursue someday after triathlon is all over

I studied Health Sciences in a pre-Physical Therapy program. Endurance sports is my only interest. 

Metzler, Knibb, Pallant-Browne Added to Collins Cup After Good Showings at IM Boulder 70.3

By Bill Plock

The Collins Cup is now set and IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 no doubt had an impact as Justin Metzler, Taylor Knibb and Emma Pallant-Browne were all chosen as Captains picks to join their respective teams. Metzler finished 5th in Boulder and Pallant-Browne and Knibb were first and second respectively helping them earn a spot. Also of note, added to the US team is Olympic silver medalist Katie Zaferes.

Also racing in Boulder last week, and already on their teams were; Sam Long, Sam Appleton, Skye Moench, Jeanni Metzler, and Chelsea Sadaro. 

Colorado is well represented with residents Chris Leiferman, Matt Hanson, Rudy Von Berg, Sam Long, Justin Metzler, Jeanni Metzler, Taylor Knibb and Sam Appleton all racing in Slovakia. 

(L to R) Taylor Knibb, Emma Pallant-Brown, Jeanni Metzler all doing the Collins Cup

The Official News Release from the PTO:

The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) today announced the athletes who will be joining their automatically qualified fellow Team Members as Captain’s Picks for Team Europe, Internationals and USA at the inaugural Collins Cup.

The Collins Cup is the PTO’s inaugural flagship event taking place on 28th August in Šamorín, Slovakia and is a new race format modelled after the Ryder Cup, which will see teams of International, European and USA athletes pitted against one another and put on display the excitement, rivalry, drama and personalities of the sport of triathlon.

Team US Captains, Mark Allen and Karen Symers, today confirmed that Katie Zaferes, Taylor Knibb, Chris Leiferman and Justin Metzler will join the eight US athletes who have already automatically qualified.

Team International Captains, Lisa Bentley and Simon Whitfield have selected Ellie Salthouse, Sarah Crowley, Jackson Laundry and Kyle Smith to join Team Internationals.

Team Europe Captains, Natascha Badmann and Normann Stadler have decided on Brits Kat Matthews and Emma Pallant-Browne, Germany’s Sebastian Kienle and rising Danish star Daniel Bækkegård to join the already qualified stellar Team Europe line-up that includes PTO World No.1s Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf.

Team Europe is stacked with both the sport’s veteran stars and its young guns. While Frodeno and Kienle bring the experience and breadth of 20+ year careers, Gustav Iden, Daniel Bækkegård and Lucy Charles-Barclay, with their recent stellar performances, bring the speed and power of youth.

Team Internationals cannot be written off. Led by the gutsy Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay, recent winner of the PTO 2020 Championship, they will be a formidable force. While Team US has US No. 1s Sam Long and Skye Moench, being joined by Olympic stars Zaferes and Knibb adds serious firepower.

Olympic silver medallist Katie Zaferes said, “I am grateful to have been awarded a Captain’s Pick. It is great that the professionals have their own organisation and now, a flagship race. It is an honour to be part of it and for me to be competing alongside my fellow Americans as part of Team US in The Collin Cup. Whilst beating the competition is the goal, the professional camaraderie generated as professionals unite to make our sport better is the reason this event is so special.”

On hearing of his selection, German star Sebastien Kienle said, “I am excited to race at The Collins Cup. I have been training and preparing to be in the best shape for this race. I am looking forward to competing against the best in the world and helping Team Europe lift the 2021 Collins Cup.”

Australian Sarah Crowley said, “It is an honour to represent Team Internationals at the 2021 Collins Cup. I’m pleased to have received a Captain’s Pick and it will be awesome to race against all the other top triathletes in the world. Being part of a team will be an added incentive to perform at my best.”

Most Compelling IRONMAN Ever in Boulder, Here’s Why

By Bill Plock

IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 is usually a big deal. And it usually is one of the biggest races in all of IRONMAN. But the 2021 race might be the most compelling ever. Especially in the pro field. 47 men and 37 women will by vying for spots not only in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, but some will be battling to get a spot at the coveted PTO Collins Cup in Slovakia on August 28th with some major money and notoriety at stake. Boulder is the last qualifying race for the Collins Cup.

The field is stacked with some top pro‘s like Sam Long, Sam Appleton, Chris Leiferman, Tyler Butterfield (all live and train in Boulder) all ranked in the top 30 in the world. Sam Long is the number one ranked American (according to PTO rankings) while Sam Appleton is the third ranked International for the Collins Cup. Chris Leiferman is 5th for the Americans and 1 point out of being an automatic qualifier. If he has a good race he could jump ahead of Ben Kanute and automatically make the team. Tyler Butterfield is 5th for the Internationals.

For the women it’s equally compelling with Skye Moench the number one ranked American battling Britains Emma Pallant, the sixth ranked European and Jeanni Metzler the fourth ranked International. Jeanni is barely ahead of Australia’s Sarah Crowley in the Collins Cup ranking and will need to have a good race to keep her automatic spot. That should create some exciting dynamics where the race matters on many levels. Meredith Kessler and Lesley Smith, ranked 7th and 8th for the American team and Emma Pallant who is 6th for the European team have a lot to possibly gain by good showings in Boulder. And lastly, keep an eye out for Chelsea Sodaro, she is ranked 11th in the world but hasn’t raced this season due to maternity leave. But with the PTO’s policy on holding rank, with a good showing at Boulder, she could be heading to the Collins Cup as well. 

The PTO’s Collins Cup will take the top four athletes automatically and two more will be chosen by the captains of the US team, the European team and the International team.

Throw into all of that, you have Taylor Knibb fresh off her silver medal performance in Tokyo racing. She is not known as a 70.3 athlete, but with her speed, youth and fitness coming off the Olympics, she could really make things interesting.

But there are many pro’s in field who also live in Boulder and no doubt some fun rivalries and hometown pride will keep it close. If there were odds, Sam Long would probably be favored but don’t be surprised is someone else is on top of the podium with so many factors at play. 

Keep an eye out for Olympian Andy Potts who is participating in the upcoming Paralympics guiding for Kyle Coon and is at the top of his game. Boulders Justin Metzler, Joe Gambles, and Kennett Peterson might emerge near the lead as well, and keep an eye out for Speedo sensation, Boulder native Colin Laughery who always relishes a chance to race at home.

And for Sam Long, born in raised in Boulder, in his most recent video getting ready for this race he says, “I’m the hometown boy coming after this race.” This was Sam’s first pro race years ago and he says he hasn’t had his best race in Boulder yet. He would like to make this years race his best Boulder effort since his first one as an 18 year old in 2014. Fun video here with many of the pro’s and a brief discussion with race director Julie Coleman

The race can be watched on IRONMAN Live here starting tomorrow at 6:50am: https://www.facebook.com/IRONMANnow/

Or come to the Boulder Reservoir tomorrow and check it out. Food trucks and lots of energy will be waiting for you. More on spectator transportation here: https://www.ironman.com/im703-boulder-athletes

PTO Announces Collins Cup, $2,000,000 Purse for Pro Triathletes, Same Weekend as Challenge Championship, Add to Bucket List?

LONDON, ENGLAND–BOULDER, USA, Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that the inaugural Collins Cup will be held on 29–30th May 2020 at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia and will have a prize purse of over $2,000,000. It will bring together the greatest professional triathletes in the world in a team competition to do battle to see who dominates the sport. This is the home of Challenge Family’s The Championship event, which will be held the next day on 31 May. 

The Professional Triathletes Organisation partnered with Crankstart Investments, an investment vehicle for Michael Moritz, in establishing a platform for professional triathletes to begin to realize their goal of athlete self-determination.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO, commented “This day has been long in coming and we are grateful to the great professional triathletes who have, through all their blood and sweat over many years, paved the way for this opportunity to materialise. The Collins Cup will be a true celebration of both the history and the future of the sport we love so much, and we look forward to hosting the event and engaging the entire triathlon community.”

Charles Adamo, Chairman of the PTO, stated that “The PTO has been working for a number of years to create an environment and structure where professional triathletes have a meaningful voice in the way the sport is operated and can contribute to its growth for the benefit of the entire triathlon community. We are very pleased to have teamed up with Crankstart Investments and Michael Moritz, who share our vision in the potential of the sport and the best means by which to see it grow and thrive.”

Modelled after golf’s Ryder Cup, The Collins Cup is a competition among USA, Europe and the Internationals. Each team will consist of 12 professional triathletes, six men and six women. Eight athletes, four men and four women, will earn a place on their respective teams by way of the PTO World Rankings™ System and the remaining four athletes, two men and two women, will be selected by the non-athlete PTO Board Members with advice from Team Captains.

The Team Captains for The Collins Cup 2020 are:

Collins Cup Captains' 2020

An athlete from each team will battle against one another in an individual race of three, so there will be 12 separate race matches, each staggered 10 minutes apart. Athletes will be awarded points for their team based on performances in their respective race match and the team with the most overall points from the 12 race matches will claim the spoils of The Collins Cup and bragging rights as the most dominant force in the sport. The team that finishes last will receive The Broke Spoke Trophy. Click here to view “How It Works”

Sam Renouf, CEO of the PTO, commented, “The format of USA vs Europe vs Internationals will add a whole new level of competition and pure excitement for triathlon. By adopting a proven format like the Ryder Cup with its nationalistic intensity, and having a points system that creates drama throughout the race, The Collins Cup is designed to be a compelling live TV event that appeals not only to the fans of endurance sports, but also to the general sports enthusiast.”

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, commented, “We could not be more thrilled with the first Collins Cup being hosted at x-bionic® sphere in Samorin. The primary mission of the PTO is to celebrate the sport of triathlon. The Collins Cup, by bringing together legendary team captains to lead today’s top triathletes in a battle to see which region dominates the sport of triathlon, will not only be a riveting competition, but will serve as a platform for professionals and fans alike to celebrate our sport.”

Zibi Szlufcik, Chairman of CHALLENGEFAMILY, commented, “We are delighted to be working with the PTO to host the inaugural Collins Cup at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia. The spectacular venue could not be more perfect for the PTO’s inaugural event and the weekend promises to be a triathlon celebration unlike any other.”

Mario Hoffman, owner of x-bionic® sphere stated “It is a great honour for Slovakia, Šamorín and x-bionic® sphere to host such a magnificent event. I can say for the whole team that we are thrilled to be a part of history and we are ready to help with our knowledge and vast experience in organizing huge international sports events.” Click here to view x-bionic® sphere.