Team Europe claimed victory in the inaugural Collins Cup, but they were pushed hard by Team USA and Team Internationals.
Europe were overwhelming favourites on paper, but there were some surprise results and the final scores saw Team Europe come out on top with 42.5 points, ahead of Team USA on 31.5, and Team Internationals with 25.5.
There were 12 races, six contested by men and six by women – and it was gripping viewing for the crowd in Slovakia.
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Europe were expected to get off to a flying start courtesy of Daniela Ryf, but the Swiss superstar was comprehensively beaten by Taylor Knibb. The American won the swim, before blitzing Ryf on the bike and after the run she crossed the line 16 minutes ahead of her toiling rival.
Lucy Charles-Barclay answered back for Europe in the second race, beating Katie Zaferes by five minutes – only for Jackie Hering of Team USA to pounce on some mechanical issues suffered by Abne Haug and claim the third race.
Europe’s Holly Lawrence suffered a nasty crash on her bike and it denied the fans a spectacle of a brilliant tussle with Ellie Salthouse of Team Internationals. With blood streaming from her arm, Lawrence raced on but had to settle for third.
Emma Pallant-Browne and Kat Matthews secured wins for Team Europe to take the lead and men’s superstar Jan Frodeno extended the lead when getting the better of Sam Appleton (Internationals) and Sam Long (USA).
Gustav Idev’s dominant performance delivered six points for Europe and effectively sealed the Collins Cup.
It was Daniel Baekkegard who wrote himself into the history books by sealing the win, with the Dane outbattling Ben Kanute (USA) on the run to secure an unassailable lead.
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Source: Euro Sports