The inaugural Collins Cup will be one of triathlon’s flagship events for 2021, but it may not be competitive – just ask Lucy Charles-Barclay.
Team Europe will battle Team USA and Team Internationals in Samorin, Slovakia on August 28. It will do so boasting a galaxy of potential team members headed by current GOATs Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf.
The likes of Charles-Barclay and Anne Haug just add to the incredible strength in depth Europe has at the very top of the rankings, and Lucy believes the team will win easily when the talk is over and the racing finally gets under way.
Team Europe so strong
Speaking on the PTO’s latest documentary ‘Battle For Glory’, she said: “We’ve got a really strong team of women. We have Daniela Ryf, we have Annie Haug, we have myself. We have other super-strong women fighting for those final spots in the team.
“And that’s just the women’s side. The men’s side is absolutely out of this world. We’ve got some of the best athletes we’ve ever had in this sport, in the history of it.
“Team Europe, we’re going to win hands down. We’re going to be unstoppable.”
Charles-Barclay, now 27, said there will be added pressure for the Collins Cup given it brings team competition and international pride into play.
The stakes are high – Charles-Barclay
“The stakes are higher [in the Collins Cup], it means more. You’re not just backing yourself and your country, your backing a number of countries to represent Europe.”
Lucy also talked about her motivation and mentality as she prepares for events like this and the way she visualises how the actual race will play out.
“You definitely have dark points in racing. ‘Why am I doing this, what am I working towards?’. I spend a lot of my time in training thinking about how I’m going to feel at points in a race.
“Reflecting on points in training where I was suffering, where I didn’t think I could do it and I managed to do it.
“This is the moment where it has to pay off because I’m in the race, the one I’ve been working towards, this is the goal.
“[I] blank out everything else, the cramp, the pain, everything. And almost go into this out-of-body, euphoric, state.”
The Collins Cup has a Ryder Cup-style format, aiming to replicate the huge success golf’s flagship team event has enjoyed since the 1980s. Before that though – previous to the introduction of Europe – it attracted limited interest due to the lack of meaningful competition between the US and Great Britain & Ireland.