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First Look: The Collins Cup Promises Thrilling Action and Equality

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The Professional Triathlon Organization (PTO) today revealed more details about next year’s Collins Cup, an event loosely modeled after golf’s Ryder Cup. The event will take place next June at a yet-to-be-revealed location.

Teams of professional triathletes from the United States, Europe and the rest of the world (the “Internationals”) will compete against each other. Each team will have 12 athletes, six men and six women. The first eight athletes on each team will be chosen based on standings in the PTO’s own ranking system, an objective system that will “consider race results from all recognised racing authorities and all distances from Olympic to full Ironman races. Since the competitors in The Collins Cup will be racing a standard long distance course, there will be heavier weightings given to longer distance races,” according to the PTO. Each team’s designated captains will decide the remaining four team members. Triathlon legends Dave Scott and Karen Smyers have been named as USA’s team captains, and the other sets of captains will be named in the future.

Other highlights:

  • The race length is expected to be long course distances of a 3 km swim, 120 km bike and 25 km run, and the race will be a non-drafting event.
  • An athlete from each of Team USA, Europe and the Internationals will battle against one another in an individual race of three, so there will be 12 separate race matches, each staggered 10 minutes apart. (See the scoring system here.)
  • During the bike and run portions of the event, each athlete will be mic’ed and in contact with their respective captains, and their communications will be broadcast to the TV audience. All team captains will have access to various live metrics (pace, power watts, cadence, heart rate, etc.) of all competitors and be permitted to communicate this information to their team members throughout the race.
  • It will be a two-day event. On the Saturday there will be a number of traditional triathlon events of varying lengths in which fans, amateur athletes and professionals not otherwise on a Collins Cup team will race. There will also be a prize purse for professionals in the Saturday races. On the Sunday, the professional teams will take to the course and battle for The Collins Cup.
  • Though it has not yet been revealed, race organizers are promising the prize purse for The Collins Cup will be “one of the highest in the sport.”
  • The last place team will be burdened with the “Broken Spokes” trophy with hopes that they can relinquish it 12 months later.

Though we have a much better picture of what the race will entail, there are still several key details yet to be revealed: the teams themselves, prize money, location, specific dates. But what we do know makes The Collins Cup an interesting addition to the recent efforts to bring triathlon to the masses with exciting new T.V. and spectator-friendly formats. Check out Thecollinscup.com for more details.