The PTO’s Battle For Glory video series highlights the stories of Collins Cup hopefuls ahead of the inaugural race in Samorin on 28 August.
In the lead up to the first ever Collins Cup, the PTO has been sharing the stories of some key players from Team Europe, Team US and Team Internationals in the Road To The Collins Cup: Battle For Glory video series.
Champions all, each star of the sport opens up about what has shaped them into the athlete they are today in their own mini documentary, which gives a very personal inside view on what makes them tick.
Ranked as Team Europe #3, Lucy Charles-Barclay talks about the strength of the women in Team Europe including Daniela Ryf and Anne Haug, declaring the team “unstoppable”.
She also speaks about overcoming the “dark points” in racing, blanking out the cramp and pain to go into an almost “out of body, euphoric state”.
Rudy Von Berg
Team US #2 Rudy Von Berg talks about his desire to race against Jan Frodeno from Team Europe and Lionel Sanders from Team Internationals, declaring the pair as “the best head-to-head you can be in”.
Von Berg also looks within his own team, reflecting on losing his top spot to fellow Team US star Sam Long. “It’s on me to race better if I want to be number one,” he says.
Nine-time world champion Javier Gomez is currently ranked Europe #8 and out of the top-four automatic qualification spots. That means he’ll be relying on one of the two Captain’s Pick slots to race in Samorin.
In his Battle For Glory video, Gomez speaks of his early days in the sport when a heart condition saw him banned from racing by the Spanish federation. It took a legal challenge to eventually overturn the ruling, kick-starting his astonishing career. “I guess, like anything in life, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he says.
Gomez also talks about the Collins Cup itself. “[It’s] a seriously exciting format, we are all looking forward to seeing how it is and how feels to represent Team Europe.”
In the most deeply personal video of the series, Team US #1 Skye Moench speaks about the horror of growing up with an abusive father: “I lived in fear of my dad. I grew to be afraid of what he would do to my mom.”
After escaping to a new life with her mother and sisters, Moench could make her life what she wanted it to be. “I think it’s just given me a really good perspective of what’s actually hard in life and what’s not,” she says.
To gain the top spot for USA, Moench has had to put in some fantastic performances this year. It’s been a spectacular comeback from a terrible bike crash in 2019 that left her with a concussion, bleeding outside the brain and a broken elbow, clavicle and thumb, making her entire upper body “useless”.
Moench is optimistic about the USA’s underdog position at this year’s Collins Cup: “I’ve been an underdog. I love that that’s the position I was put into because I’m not afraid of anything. I know I can do anything I want to do.”