Samorin, Slovakia was the setting for the inaugural Collins Cup, with Team Europe crowned the victors against Team USA and the International Team.
British athletes Lucy Charles-Barclay, Holly Lawrence, Emma Pallant-Browne, Kat Matthews and Joe Skipper all competed as part of the European team, with all three twelve-athlete teams packed with talented competitors.
The format of the competition saw one member from each team compete in a head-to-head battle, with points awarded for place and bonus points on offer for margin of victory between each athlete.
The winners earned three, second place two and third place one point. A gap of two minutes earned half a bonus point, four minutes gained one bonus point and six or more minutes added one and a half bonus points.
Across the twelve races, Team Europe racked up 42.5 points to USA’s 31.5 and Team International’s 25.5. Europe won six of the twelve races, with Charles-Barclay, Pallant-Browne and Matthews all coming away victorious and Skipper finishing second and Lawrence third.
Charles-Barclay overcame Katie Zaferes (USA) and Paula Findlay (INT) in her race over the 2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run course. The Brit was too strong for the American Olympic athlete and 2020 PTO Championship winner from Canada, securing Europe’s win in the second match-up of the day.
Pallant-Browne saw off Chelsea Sodaro (USA) and Sarah Crowley (INT), with Matthews adding a further victory in the women’s races for Europe by defeating Jocelyn McCauley (USA) and Carrie Lester (INT).
Matthews claimed 5.5 points having finished with a margin of victory of five minutes over McCauley and ten minutes over Lester. Pallant-Browne crossed the line just over a minute ahead of Sodaro and over eight minutes ahead of Crowley to bank 4.5 points.
The other three races in the female match-ups saw Taylor Knibb (USA), Jackie Hering (USA) and Ellie Salthouse (INT) take victories. Lawrence competed against Salthouse and Skye Moench (USA) in match four where she finished third, with Daniela Ryf (EUR) finishing second to Knibb and Anne Haug (EUR) second behind Hering.
Skipper, the sole British man in the competition, finished second behind Jackson Laundry (INT) and ahead of Justin Metzler (USA), with Sebastian Kienle also securing a second place finish for Europe. By crossing the line three minutes ahead of Metzler, Skipper earned half a bonus point on top of the two points for a second place finish.
Jan Frodeno, Gustav Iden and Daniel Baekkegard all won races for Team Europe, with Patrick Lange crossing the line third in his match-up.
With six victories out of a possible twelve, Team Europe showed their strength across the day to be crowned the winners of the inaugural Collins Cup.
The European team in full was: Charles-Barclay, Pallant-Browne, Matthews, Lawrence, Skipper, Frodeno, Ryf, Iden, Haug, Lange, Kienle and Baekkegard.
Photo credit: Professional Triathletes Organisation