The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) updated the latest Collins Cup standings after last weekend’s Ironman New Zealand.
Two Canadians, Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay, remain in the hunt for a chance to represent the International Team and a chance for a big payday at the upcoming Collins Cup in Samorin, Slovakia in May.
Sanders sits in fourth in the PTO World Rankings and is the top International male, while Findlay is currently 15th, but is the fourth-ranked International woman. The top-four men and women on each team in the rankings earn an automatic selection to the Collins Cup, with the final two men and women for each team nominated by the team captains.
There were no changes at the top of the PTO rankings after the New Zealand race, but the two winners in Taupo, Joe Skipper and Teresa Adam, moved well up in the standings and have almost guaranteed themselves automatic spots at the Collins Cup, which will take place in Samorin, Slovakia at the end of May. Here’s how the PTO described their move up the rankings and exactly how big the potential payday is for making the team:
Great Britain’s Joe Skipper is probably still celebrating the win that had eluded him after a couple of runner-up finishes in Taupo, but as a very lucrative added bonus, he vaulted himself seven places in the PTO World Rankings to PTO World No. 5. Skipper’s course record breaking time of 7:54 was three minutes faster than the PTO Adjusted Ideal Time on a very fast racing day at Taupo, earning him 109 ranking points. He is now the fourth European in the PTO World Rankings, a position that would earn him an automatic slot for Team Europe.
How lucrative is the added bonus? Based on his current PTO World Ranking, Skipper is in line to receive $65,000 for The Collins Cup and $60,000 under the PTO’s recently announced Year End Bonus Programme, for a total of $125,000. To keep this is perspective, that is more than 10 times his winnings at IMNZ and over 3.5 times the entire men’s prize purse.
The European athletes ahead of him? A virtual who’s who of triathlon racing: former Olympic gold medalist, three-time Kona champ and current PTO World No. 1 Jan Frodeno, Great Britain’s two-time Olympic gold medalist and PTO World No. 2 Alistair Brownlee, and Germany’s Kona and two-time 70.3 world champ, Sebastian Kienle, who rounds off a formidable trio at PTO World No. 3.
Teresa Adam’s winning time at Taupo of 8:40 crushed the PTO Adjusted Ideal Time for the course of 8:55, scoring a massive 122 ranking points and moving her up to PTO World No. 5. The Kiwi is now almost assured a position on Team Internationals at The Collins Cup, as she is currently the second highest ranked International women, just behind PTO World No. 3, Australia’s Sarah Crowley.
Based on the current standings, Team Europe will arrive in Samorin as the prohibitive favourite. Team Europe is so strong that even multiple world champion Javier Gomez isn’t in a position for an automatic selection for the team. Three of the four automatic selections on the women’s side – Daniela Ryf, Anne Haug and Holly Lawrence – are world champions, with superstar Lucy Charles-Barclay, No. 2 in the PTO World Rankings, rounding out the top four.
The International Team is headed by Sanders on the men’s side and, at this point, will also feature 2012 Olympian Paula Findlay, who sits fourth in the rankings, which would earn her an automatic selection. Other Canadian women who feature in the PTO World Rankings include Jen Annett (39th), Angela Naeth (52nd) and Rachel McBride (54th). On the men’s side Cody Beals sits at 19th, while Jackson Laundry is in 50th.
Team USA currently doesn’t have many athletes near the top of the rankings, but does feature some big names.