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PTO Announces Partnership with Challenge Family and x-bionic® sphere

The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) has announced the appointment Challenge Family as local organising committee (LOC) to deliver the second annual Collins Cup on 20th and 21st August 2022 at the extraordinary x-bionic®sphere in Šamorín, Slovakia.

The Collins Cup is the 2nd race of the PTO Tour which also consists of the PTO Canadian Open and the PTO USA Open in 2022 with The PTO Asian Open and the PTO European Open being added in 2023 and will see the world’s greatest non-drafting professional male and female triathletes competing in Slovakia for a prize purse of $1,500,000.

The inaugural Collins Cup, the game-changing new race format for triathlon, modeled after the Ryder Cup saw three teams of Internationals, European, and USA athletes pitted against one another in 12 race matches in some of the most dynamic racing ever seen in the sport. The new format resulted in phenomenal viewing figures moving it closer to long established properties like tennis and golf.

The professional men’s race and women’s race will take place on Saturday 20th August, are each a 100km distance which comprises a 2km freshwater swim in the Danube river, a 80km fast and flat bike leg and a 18km run over a variety of different terrain in the beautiful countryside surrounding the x-bionic®sphere in  Šamorín.

This year, the Collins Cup will also introduce age group racing over the 100km distance as well as a relay option, giving amateurs the opportunity to meet and race alongside the world’s best PTO professionals from Team Europe, Team US and Team Internationals. Competitors will be able to absorb all the hair-raising, heart thumping and inspirational action from the professional race on Saturday 20th August before taking to the closed-roads course on Sunday to experience it for themselves.

Given the success of last year’s event, this year’s prestigious event will remain at the x-bionic®sphere in Šamorín, a one-of-a-kind sports playground just 25km from the historic capital of Bratislava. A significant difference is that in 2021, the restrictions imposed by the COVID pandemic meant that the Collins Cup took place alongside The Championship. However in 2022, the Collins Cup will be run independently with the PTO appointing Challenge Family as the LOC to deliver the professional race as well as the new addition of age group races.

The Collins Cup will have the same world class TV production broadcast as last year shown live to a global audience as well as high-quality shoulder programming showcasing the stories of the PTO Professionals including PTO World No 1’s Lucy Charles Barclay and Gustav Iden.

Sam Renouf, CEO of the PTO, stated: “We are delighted to partner with Challenge Family and the x-bionic®sphere to deliver The Collins Cup in year two. Our very first Collins Cup last year showcased our tremendous professionals to a cumulative global audience of close to 7 million triathlon fans across live and highlights with close to 1000 hours of broadcast coverage aired live and on demand in over 165 countries, 22 languages, covering 400 million households. We are thrilled that so many people around the world consumed the inaugural Collins Cup. By staying in Šamorín at the x-bionic®sphere we can utilise our learnings and deliver an even better event broadcast to build a wider fan base”.

Jort Vlam, CEO, Challenge Family stated: “We are delighted to be appointed as the LOC for The Collins Cup in year two, building on the success of last year’s inaugural event. The host venue of x-bionic® sphere is Challenge Family’s second home and our expertise at delivering world-class triathlons at this venue is unrivaled. Our commitment to #allabouttheathlete will ensure both age group and elite racing will provide the best experience possible for all athletes. With some positive changes made to the course and format, we are very much looking forward to working with the PTO and x-bionic® sphere to help take triathlon to a global audience.”

Michal Kraus, General Manager, x-bionic® sphere: “It was truly an honor for everyone in our official Olympic training center to host the inaugural event of The Collins Cup in 2021. Our dedication in striving for excellence has been inspired by the virtues that sport represents in societies all over the world. We are genuinely excited that The Collins Cup will return again in 2022 to our premises. We guarantee the top ranked PTO athletes, every single participating age-group athlete and all the spectators that we will raise the bar of expectations a little higher to celebrate the performances in our beautiful sport of triathlon“.  Click here to view x-bionic® sphere.

Age Group registration will open on 25th January at 9am EST. Entry to age group racing is accessed via events.protriathletes.org/pto-tour/.