The professional triathletes organization has announced that Lionel Sanders of Team International and Holly Lawrence of Team Europe have received the Julie Moss award… ‘for their courageous performances at the Collins Cup.’
The power take-off notes that … “The Julie Moss Award is named after Julie Moss, whose performance at the 1982 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, in which she collapsed and crossed the finish line, has become synonymous with the indomitable spirit of the triathlon.
“In many ways, she is the inspiration for the PTO’s motto, ‘Dum Spiro Spero’, (‘While I breathe, I hope’).
PTO added that the many courageous performances by elite triathletes at the Collins Cup made the award decision extremely difficult.
“From the international team Kyle Smith running on an aero bar after crashing, to a sick Daniela Ryf from Team Europe struggling to earn three vital points. From the outstanding performance of American Chelsea Sodaro in Barely six months after the arrival of her baby Skye, in Team Internationals’ Jackson Laundry mad sprint in the final two kilometers to win her match, the day has been filled with courage and determination.
“But Sanders and Lawrence’s performances particularly captivated fans and showed the meaning of the Collins Cup.”
Canadian Lionel Sanders, the “spiritual leader of international teams”, arrived at the event after finishing second at the IRONMAN in Copenhagen just six days earlier. Sanders not only competed in the flagship PTO event on just six days off a full-distance race, but he then came off the curb after a bicycle accident to win his match against European Sebastian Kienle and American Andrew Starykowicz.
Simon Whitfield, Olympic gold medalist and captain of international teams, said: “There is literally no way to describe Lionel Sanders. You can exhaust your thesaurus with words like relentless, indomitable, inflexible, determined, inexorable, and never come close to describing what Lionel Sanders is or does.
“You can only conclude that it is beyond the realm of human understanding. In everything man does, he lives his mantra of having “no limits”. It was an honor to be his captain and to experience his passion and his spirit.
On the women’s side, European Holly Lawrence faced her rival Ellie Salthouse from Team Internationals. The elite women fought side by side for each stroke, colliding numerous times as each refused to give up an inch.
Lawrence led on the bike until disaster struck, and she crashed not far from T-2. Bloodied, she immediately stood up to continue the fight, but her damaged bike took nearly five minutes to repair as she waited helplessly.
She watched Salthouse and American Skye Moench pass her and saw her chance to win the game evaporate. Bike repaired but spirit intact, she rode in transition to a standing ovation. Having no chance of winning her match, PTO noted that she nevertheless persevered in the race and denied bonus points to Team USA and Team International, helping Team Europe to victory.
Natascha Badmann, Team Europe captain, said: “Holly Lawrence’s performance was an inspiration to our team. We had already lost points in Game 1 with the tremendous performance of American Taylor Knibb.
“If Holly hadn’t been able to continue we would have lost 1-1 / 2 more points. With courage and determination, she fought to deny the vital points of the American team and the international team 1-1 / 2. This did not go unnoticed by fans and the rest of Team Europe, who weren’t prepared to see Holly’s efforts be in vain.