Team Europe Captains Normann Stadler and Natascha Badmann today revealed their Captains’ Picks for the PTO’s flagship event The Collins Cup on August 20.
Commenting on the selections, Normann Stadler, returning Champion European Captain, commented: “It is always very difficult to choose the European Captains’ Picks as there are so many outstanding athletes. In Daniel Bækkegård, we have an experienced Collins Cup campaigner who knows the course and conditions well and had the third fastest time at last year’s Collins Cup. Daniel, as PTO World #7 in the world, is also the highest PTO ranked athlete to not automatically qualify for any team. Sam Laidlow’s tremendous performance at the PTO Canadian Open put on display that he is ready to compete with the best and join our Championship team. He will be the first athlete from France to participate in the Collins Cup.”
On the women’s side, Captain Natascha Badmann, noted: “For the European Women, these picks were extremely difficult to make as there are so many outstanding athletes who deserve to race for Team Europe. As last year’s winner of the Julie Moss Award for the grittiest performance, Holly Lawrence demonstrated the true spirit of the Collins Cup and the determination of Team Europe. With Team Europe unexpectedly behind, Lawrence fell on the bike costing her a massive amount of time. Bloodied and battered and robbed of her chance to win her match, she fought on the run and denied Team US and Team Internationals vital bonus points. Her performance is already part of the Collins Cup lore.”
“While Nicola Spirig is a rookie for the Collins Cup, she is a seasoned veteran with an unprecedented career. Five time Olympian and Gold and Silver medal winner, Nicola is one of the greatest women on the Olympic distance the sport has produced. It will be a joy to see her join Team Europe.”
Stadler and Badmann concluded their thoughts by commenting: “While we sadly will miss our high point catchers Jan Frodeno and Lucy Charles-Barclay because of injury, adding Kristian Blummenfelt, Magus Ditlev and Laura Phillipp certainly demonstrates the depth and strength of Team Europe. As we experienced last year in the early part of the race when we fell behind, the Collins Cup raises the performance of all athletes as they race for their teams. Team Europe will take nothing for granted. We expect a tremendous battle but are confident Team Europe will once again reign as Collins Cup Champions.”
The automatic qualifications for the teams were announced last week, following the PTO Canadian Open, and can be found here.
The Captains’ Picks for Team International will be revealed on Friday.
The Collins Cup will take place on 20th August at the x-bionic® sphere in Bratislava.
For full listings of how to watch The Collins Cup live on 20th August go to https://protriathletes.org/events/how-to-watch. For viewers in Europe and Indian Sub-Continent, The Collins Cup will be broadcast live exclusively on Eurosport. For the rest of the world, fans can watch either via desktop or app on PTO+. Highlights and full race replay as well as Collins Cup build up content can be watched globally via desktop or app on PTO+.