After a year of points-chasing, pro triathletes from the world over were recently greeted with the qualifiers for the debut of the inaugural Collins Cup on Aug. 28 in Samorin, Slovakia. It was a hotly-contested affair, and all said and done, QR will field five athletes competing to represent their region in one of the most unique new races in the sport's history.
Named after former U.S. Navy Commander John Collins, who conceptualized the idea of and inception of Ironman, The Collins Cup is modeled to become triathlon’s version of golf’s Ryder Cup. As part of a global region—the U.S., Europe, and World— some of the best long- and middle-distance triathletes from the world over assemble to represent their region in head-to-head competition against athletes from other regions. With 12 separate race matches (each staggered 10 minutes apart), in one-versus-one-versus-one 2k swim/80k bike/18k run races, the event will have storylines interweaving all day as teammates race not for personal glory, but for their region.
The end game? Sure, beat your two other region competitors, but more importantly, results will be tabulated to determine the region of the world with the best triathletes.
No question, with the new format—and a fair bit of money on the line for the pros, the anticipation is palpable for things to kick off.
Quintana Roo-sponsored triathletes make up a significant contingent of the athletes from, well, world over. Here’s QR’s Fab Five for the Collins Cup.
Justin Metzler: Team USA
The Boulder, Colo. Triathlete couldn’t have picked a better time to begin his rise to Ironman racing. For the last few years, the husband half of the Metzler duo has been a mainstay on the Ironman 70.3 circuit. This year, he took on Ironman Coeur d’Alene and finished second to Sam Long. His meteoric rise led Team USA captains Mark Allen and Karen Smyers to select him with one of their two subjective Captain’s Picks. Now, Long will become a teammate of Metzler’s as part of Team USA. And while he's finding his Ironman legs having qualified for the Hawaii Ironman this year, his years of Ironman 70.3 experience and middle-distance speed will come into play for this event.
Jeanni Metzler: Team World
Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, the wife half of the Metzler duo will depart her American husband to join Canadians, Australians and others representing all those countries outside Europe. One of the most lethally speedy 70.3 athletes in the sport, Metzler will be a force for the World squad over a distance that ought to suit her quite well. What happens if there’s an on-course battle between the two? It’s no doubt the first time in the young couple’s marriage will be put under duress—but it’ll all be worked out on the race course.
Joe Skipper: Team Europe
One of the most consistent—and aggressive—Ironman triathletes on the circuit today, the irrepressible, irreverent and unstoppable Briton was a shoe-in to qualify for Team Europe. Fresh off a third-place finish at Lake Placid, Skipper has been dialing in for Collins Cup with training along the French/Spanish border in the French Pyrenees. He joins an exceedingly strong European team that includes some very familiar names like Patrick Lange, Jan Frodeno, Daniela Ryf and Lucy Charles-Barclay. Good company for a team many are picking as one of the favorites to win, and Skipper aims to pull his weight for the European contingent.
Matt Hanson: Team USA
He’s largely regarded as one of the most brilliant runners in long-distance triathlon, but American Matt Hanson has built his bike and swim to levels that make him a threat to win any race, anywhere. The Boulderite—the third-ranked American on the team—has the respect of every athlete in the field for what he’s capable of: coming on late to find the win. While Hanson has been off the race radar of late, anyone who attacks him too hard—and too early—will pay dearly.
Jocelyn McCauley: Team USA
The newest addition to the team has the most recent ace result among the entire American team, netting a massive second place result at Ironman’s European Championships in Finland on Aug. 13. She’s also one of a few athletes on the start line with “mom” attached firmly to the top of her resume. A mother to two, McCauley had a little girl—Sydney—in March. Five months later, she’s Kona qualified, and headed to Samorin to represent the United States. If this apres-baby speed keeps rolling for McCauley, look out.
Ready to watch McCauley, Skipper, Hanson and the Metzlers fight among the world’s best for global domination (or something akin to that for triathlon)? The Collins Cup will be broadcast globally, with the athlete draw taking place Aug 25th and racing taking place Aug. 28. U.S. and Canadian viewers will be able to tune in live and on demand on beIN Sports. Check the Collins Cup website for details on your region.
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