Team Europe produced a superb display in Samorin to again run away with victory in the Collins Cup, triathlon’s answer to the Ryder Cup.
Twelve months ago they passed the 40 points mark, this time it was even more emphatic as they collected 53. And all this without the likes of Jan Frodeno and Lucy Charles-Barclay, who had played starring roles in 2021.
Team International had a decent day, with four individual wins, but it was a shocking afternoon for Team USA as they failed to collect a single victory and took home the ‘Broken Spokes’ trophy as a result.
Collins Cup 2022 Score & Results
Final Match Score: Team Europe 53, Team Internationals 38, Team USA 22.5
There were 12 races, each featuring one athlete from Team Europe, Team USA and Team Internationals. Six races featuring women and six featuring men – all covering 2km swim, 80km bike and an 18km run.
The winner of each race received 3 points, with the runner-up getting 2 and the third-place finisher 1.
There was also a bonus points system for the finishing margin between athletes:
- 1.5 points for six minutes or more
- 1 point for four minutes
- 0.5 points for two minutes
Here’s how those 12 matches played out.
Match 1 – Daniela Ryf vs. Sarah True vs. Flora Duffy
Flora Duffy led the swim (with a fastest of the day 25:33) but it was a Daniela Ryf masterclass from that point onwards.
The reigning IRONMAN World Champion completely erased the memory of a difficult day here 12 months ago as she took control on the bike and then stretched her advantage over the all-important six minutes mark on the run.
Olympic and Commonwealth Champion Duffy stayed on well for second and herself claimed a bonus point over Sarah True in third.
- 1. Daniela Ryf (EUR) – 3:28:50
- 2. Flora Duffy (INT) – 3:35:48
- 3. Sarah True (USA) – 3:40:20
Points: Team Europe 6, Team International 3, Team USA 1
Match 2 – Laura Philipp vs. Chelsea Sodaro vs. Ashleigh Gentle
This turned into an absorbing battle between Ashleigh Gentle and Laura Philipp.
Gentle led by over a minute in the water but it all changed on the bike as Philipp moved into the lead and Chelsea Sodaro dropped out of contention.
But Gentle was back in front on the run and worked hard to earn a bonus half point as she extended the lead to 2:33 on the line, admitting afterwards: “I left it all out there and am ruined!”
- 1. Ashleigh Gentle (INT) – 3:30:51
- 2. Laura Philipp (EUR) – 3:33:24
- 3. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) – 3:46:23
Points: Team International 5, Team Europe 3.5, Team USA 1
Match 3 – Kat Matthews vs. Skye Moench vs. Paula Findlay
Team International made it two wins out of two to take an early lead at this point as Paula Findlay routed the opposition.
She was first out of the water, with Kat Matthews at +20s and Skye Moench +54s.
All three are strong on the bike but Findlay was in a class of her own today and put the issue beyond doubt on two wheels before ramming home the advantage to collect maximum points.
- 1. Paula Findlay (INT) – 3:31:10
- 2. Kat Matthews (EUR) – 3:37:57
- 3. Skye Moench (USA) – 3:38:41
Points: Team International 6, Team Europe 2, Team USA 1
Match 4 – Nicola Spirig vs. Sophie Watts vs. Vittoria Lopes
Anyone who doubted whether triathlon legend Nicola Spirig merited her Captains’ Pick was put firmly in their place in stunning style by the former Olympic Champion on her last international appearance.
It was no surprise to see uber-swimmer Vittoria Lopes first out of the water, but Spirig was just 25 seconds behind and Sophie Watts over two minutes back.
And Spirig wasted little time powering to the front on the bike and was out on her own from that point, another to collect the full six points. Watt ended her race in the medical tent but was reported to have made a full recovery.
- 1. Nicola Spirig (EUR) – 3:32:44
- 2. Vittoria Lopes (INT) – 3:49:17
- 3. Sophie Watts (USA) – DNF
Points: Team Europe 6, Team International 3.5, Team USA 1
Match 5 – Holly Lawrence vs. Jocelyn McCauley vs. Ellie Salthouse
Another successful Captains’ Pick for Team Europe as wildcard Holly Lawrence notched the win.
There was very little between herself and arch rival Ellie Salthouse on the swim and there were echoes early on the bike of 12 months ago when they were locked together.
Thankfully there was no repeat of Lawrence’s crash this time, though she was passed on the bike by Jocelyn McCauley but kept her cool and then asserted for another clear-cut victory.
“Last year I crashed so I was stoked to get maximum points today,” said Lawrence afterwards.
- 1. Holly Lawrence (EUR) – 3:33:10
- 2. Jocelyn McCauley (USA) – 3:37:43
- 3. Ellie Salthouse (INT) – 3:46:28
Points: Team Europe 5.5, Team USA 3.5, Team International 1
Match 6 – Anne Haug vs. Jackie Hering vs. Tamara Jewett
Anne Haug rounded off a great six matches on the female side for Europe by notching a hard-fought victory over Tamara Jewett.
The swim in this heat couldn’t have been closer, with nothing between the trio from start to finish.
And Jewett produced an excellent display to keep Haug up to her work.
But as Jackie Hering came across the line in third there was no getting away from the fact that in the women’s races, Team USA were largely off the pace – with no wins and just one second place to show for their efforts.
- 1. Anne Haug (EUR) – 3:33:57
- 2. Tamara Jewett (INT) – 3:35:42
- 3. Jackie Hering (USA) – 3:39:21
Points: Team Europe 4, Team International 2.5, Team USA 1
Match 7 – Kristian Blummenfelt vs. Ban Kanute vs. Hayden Wilde
A fascinating matchup on paper but reigning Olympic and IRONMAN World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt was a class apart.
He was third after the swim as Kanute led it out but just six seconds separated the trio.
It was close early on the bike too but then ‘Big Blu’ put on the burners deep into the bike. “That’s where I tried to put the hammer down as I knew Hayden was coming from short-course,” he explained afterwards.
Wilde stuck on gamely for second but Blummenfelt was already being interviewed by the time he crossed the line.
- 1. Kristian Blummenfelt (EUR) – 3:09:19
- 2. Hayden Wilde (INT) – 3:17:55
- 3. Ben Kanute (USA) – 3:21:17
Points: Team Europe 6, Team International 2.5, Team USA 1
Match 8 – Sam Laidlow vs. Sam Long vs. Lionel Sanders
The match with the most eyes on it after the feisty build up – and how it lived up to expectations!
Sam Laidlow looked to be backing up the trash talk when he led by over three minutes in the swim, Sam Long and Lionel Sanders together at +3:17.
But it was always going to be the bike / run when it mattered and that pair had surged past the Frenchman, with Long apparently saying “Hope there’s no cramps mate,” to him at T2.
Unfortunately for Laidlow it went from bad to worse for him on the run as he was reduced to a walk but that shouldn’t detract from a thrilling finale up front as Sanders and Long produced a sprint finish which just went the way of the Canadian.
“Not bad for a couple of duathletes hey!” said Sanders afterwards in reference to Laidlow’s comments that he’d beat them even without an advantage from the swim.
Meanwhile Laidlow kept going but didn’t cross the line until Gustav Iden in matchup #11. And fair play to him, Long and Sanders who all embraced at the finish.
- 1. Lionel Sanders (INT) – 3:12:25
- 2. Sam Long (USA) – 3:12:27
- 3. Sam Laidlow (EUR) – 3:41:36
Points: Team International 4.5, Team USA 3.5, Team Europe 1
Match 9 – Magnus Ditlev vs. Rudy Von Berg vs. Max Neumann
Brilliant Challenge Roth winner Magnus Ditlev put down another marker with a demolition job here at the Collins Cup.
It was super close on the swim – “I was really pleased with that,” said Ditlev – as Max Neumann held a fractional lead, with Rudy Von Berg +4s and Ditlev at +7s.
But the great Dane’s power on the bike is in no doubt and it was a one-horse race from that point to claim maximum points as Von Berg, who was a late withdrawal from this event last year, took second.
- 1. Magnus Ditlev (EUR) – 3:13:31
- 2. Rudy Von Berg (USA) – 3:20:51
- 3. Max Neumann (INT) – 3:24:52
Points: Team Europe 6, Team USA 3, Team International 1
Match 10 – Patrick Lange vs. Jason West vs. Aaron Royle
A great 22:56 swim from Aaron Royle proved pivotal in this one.
It put him 2:22 ahead of Patrick Lange (hit with a 10 seconds penalty for jumping a fraction early on his bike) and Jason West.
And, full of confidence from his recent third at the PTO Canadian Open, Royle was able to make it count.
“I knew I had to swim hard and that I did – but I knew there was no looking back from then on. And the feeling of being hunted down can play with your mind, especially on the run.”
- 1. Aaron Royle (INT) – 3:19:42
- 2. Jason West (USA) – 3:24:34
- 3. Patrick Lange (EUR) – 3:26:07
Points: Team International 5.5, Team USA 2, Team Europe 1
Match 11 – Gustav Iden vs. Matt Hanson vs. Jackson Laundry
Gustav Iden followed fellow Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt in breaking the hour mark for the 18km run as his points officially meant Team Europe had retained the Collins Cup.
In truth that had been decided long before but it was another superb display by the reigning 70.3 World Champion.
Matt Hanson was just two seconds behind him after the swim but that soon ballooned, while Jackson Laundry was a distant third throughout.
- 1. Gustav Iden (EUR) – 3:11:32
- 2. Matt Hanson (USA) – 3:19:19
- 3. Jackson Laundry (INT) – 3:32:49
Points: Team Europe 6, Team USA 3.5, Team International 1
Match 12 – Daniel Bækkegård vs. Chris Leiferman vs. Braden Currie
Two wins for Norway in the men’s and two for Denmark too as Daniel Bækkegård followed in Magnus Ditlev’s footprints.
He led the swim in 24:05, with Braden Currie at +42s and Chris Leiferman – who endured a difficult day – at +2:49.
Such was the strength of the European team, Bækkegård was ‘only’ a Captains’ Pick but he rounded off a dominant triumph for the defending champions in style.
- 1. Daniel Bækkegård (EUR) – 3:13:52
- 2. Braden Currie (INT) – 3:21:41
- 3. Chris Leiferman (USA) – 3:24:42
Points: Team Europe 6, Team International 2.5, Team USA 1