Canadians are featured in a few key matches at this Saturday’s Collins Cup as Lionel Sanders continues his crazy two weeks of racing (he was second at Ironman Copenhagen last weekend) with a three-man race with rival Sebastian Kienle and super-cyclist Andrew Starykowicz. Paula Findlay will be competing in possibly an even more interesting match up as she takes on Lucy Charles-Barclay (Europe) and Katie Zaferes (US).
Canadians were front and centre in today’s Collins Cup Opening Ceremony as International team captains Lisa Bentley and Simon Whitfield were on the stage making the calls on which athletes would be racing each other on Saturday. Here’s a breakdown of the match pairings we’ll see:
Team Europe got to name the athlete in this race and made a bold statement with four-time Kona champ and five-time 70.3 world champ Daniela Ryf. The US team countered with Taylor Knibb, who is fresh off an amazing race in Edmonton, where she rode away from the rest of the women in the race (after leading out of the water) to take the World Triathlon Championship Final. If anyone can swim and bike with Ryf, it could be Knibb. Team International named Teresa Adam as their competitor in this match up – the Kiwi is the top-ranked International in the PTO women’s standings.
Team US started this round, putting Olympic bronze medalist Katie Zaferes into play. Team International countered with Findlay and the Europeans came back with Charles-Barclay, who has done it all this year – everything from Olympic swim trials to WTCS Leeds to half-distance wins. Two years ago Findlay outran Charles-Barclay at Challenge Daytona. Can she do it again in Saturday? Zaferes will certainly be closer out of the water to the Brit – can she jump on the Paula train as the Canadian tries to ride up to Charles-Barclay after the swim? This will be a very fun race to watch.
We’ll just call this the race of the runners part one.
How strong is the European team? The get to call up a world champion for the fourth match up. (Lawrence won the 70.3 worlds in 2016.) We profiled Moench earlier this year, showcasing her rise in the sport, while Salthouse has been winning pretty much every race she could get herself into over the last year.
We did mention how strong Team Europe is, right? Pallant-Browne has been on fire this summer and looks to build on that form heading into 70.3 worlds – and the Collins Cup, of course.
The final women’s match up promises to be another interesting one – we’ve seen how fast Lester can be (she dominated Ironman Mont-Tremblant in 2019), while Matthews has been racing up a storm of late.
While there will be lots of talk about the Frodeno / Long match up here, don’t count Appleton out here.
Rudy Von Berg
Another example of the strength of the European team. Match 1? Defending Ironman world champion. Match 2? Defending Ironman 70.3 world champion.
Sanders and Kienle have had some epic races here in Samorin, so there are more than a few of us who are looking forward to this race. Sanders is coming off an Ironman, Kienle is coming off an injury. Then, adding to the fun, is Starykowicz, who will try to ride away from two of the sport’s best cyclists. Kienle, as always, had some fun with the crowd pretending to be bored with the match up, but we know he’ll be all-too-ready to push things to the limit on Saturday.
Three strong swim-bikers. All are decent runners. This is going to be an interesting match up.
We’ll call this the race of the runner’s part two. Hanson and Lange are nutty fast in the final leg of a race. Currie can hold his own, too. Can’t wait to watch this one unfold.
If by some reason things are close, this final match up could actually be pivotal on Saturday.