Schipper scores first world title as Hanquinquant and Ellis march on at Para World Championships
Ideal conditions greeted the Para Triathletes onto the Pontevedra pontoon on Saturday morning, as the 2023 World Triathlon Para Championships hit the Galician city in north west Spain.
The course was an altogether tougher challenge, the 750m swim transitioning to 20km bike with long climb and numerous speed bumps, three laps of an occasionally narrow run course to the tape, but the athletes delivered outstanding action across the six categories.
Visually impaired get action underway
Jose Luiz Garcia Serrano B1 was the first man out of the water followed by Antoine Perel B1 and Kyle Coon B1, but the Spaniard slowed in T1 allowing USA’s Coon a small advantage out of transition and onto the 20km bike. Dave Ellis B1 was a minute back after a good swim and slick T1, Thibaut Rigaudeau B3 a further 30 seconds back at this stage.
Coon looked to take charge of the bike but slipped back over the closing stages as Ellis and Rigaudeau looked to set up a grandstand finish and Perel was tucked in on the final climb just a few metres back. Rigaudeau led Ellis in by a whisker, Perel and Coon following them into transition with Catala and Cravens right there, and there was nothing between the leaders as they headed out for the first of three laps.
Ellis and guide Luke Pollard then began to exert control over the run, putting 10 seconds over the French over the first loop and then extending that lead all the way to the tape, Rigaudeau taking silver and Perel with bronze just ahead of Cravens in fourth.
Late drama sees Schipper win PTWC gold
It was Giuseppe Romele H1 (ITA) first out of the water but had a penalty to serve for cutting the swim course and would ultimately be DSQ’d, Nic Beveridge H1 50 seconds back, Jetze Plat H2 already closing the wave gap to 80 seconds and then closing the gap with every turn of the bike course.
The Dutchman was quickly able to put 40 seconds into the field on the bike, while compatriot Geert Schipper H2 and Florian Brungraber H2 (AUT) began to close in on Giovanni Achenza H1 in third with each lap.
Schipper had a 10-second penalty for a mount-line violation as he led Brungraber by just four seconds out of T2 nearly 2 minutes back from Plat. The Dutchman took the penalty on lap one of the bike and then disaster struck for both Brungraber and Plat, both getting punctures, Plat just 300m in to the run, and Schipper took full advantage, making up over a minute on the final lap to soar past the defending champion and take the tape and the title he had chased for so long.
Ribstein roars to PTS2 gold
The American was able to cut into that deficit on the first lap of the bike and had passed Morales by the halfway point then De Paepe by the bell and was right on Ribstein’s heel as they hit transition for the second time.
That would be as close as he would get, however, as Ribstein again hit the acceleration onto the run and eased clear of the field. Maurits Morsink was into third at the bell, while ahead it was once again a French athlete with the win, Ribstein’s gold 20 seconds ahead of Lahna, Morsink taking the bronze.
Molina secures home PTS3 gold
Gelhaar moved into second over lap one on the bike, Van Der Burgt with a penalty for blocking and finding himself over a minute back as Cedric Denuziere moved into third.
Gelhaar was into first by the halfway point of the bike and had put 30 seconds into Molina by the time T2 came into view, Denuziere over a minute back but with a four-minute cushion over Van Der Burgt in fourth.
The crowd lifted Molina on the first run lap, however, and he quickly set about closing down and then passing the German who had no answer to the Spaniard’s speed. The gap grew and grew, Molina taking the world title by 45 seconds from Gelhaar, Denuziere with bronze.
Hanquinquant cant be stopped
The 29-year-old Liam Twomey had a six-second lead over Alexis Hanquinquant out of the swim in the men’s PTS4 race, Antonio Franko of Croatia and Pierre-Antoine Baele (FRA) together just over half a minute further back.
Twomey was able to hold on to Hanquinquant for the opening stages of the bike, Jeremy Peacock of Australia three minutes back, but as the bike neared its conclusion, Baele was getting closer and closer to Twomey and Franko 14 seconds behind him.
As soon as he hit the run, there was no stopping Hanquinquant in his pursuit of another consummate world title display, Baele exerting his control over the silver medal position 30 seconds off his compatriot and Franko moving into bronze as Twomey fell back.
Schulz bounces back from Paris
The PTS5 were the third category out, Filipe Marques of Portugal leading out of the water but then having to serve a penalty for drafting that ended any hopes he had of a medal.
Stefan Daniel had a narrow advantage over Martin Schulz and Ronan Cordeiro (BRA) at that stage, but it was Schulz to the front of the bike on lap one, Daniel right with him, Bence Mocsari (HUN) 40 seconds back with Chris Hammer for company.
Hammer had managed to move a full 30 seconds ahead of the Hungarian by the end of the fourth lap and it was in third position where he stayed for an excellent bronze. Up ahead, Schulz was able to hold off Daniel to ensure he would be taking another brilliant world title back to Germany.
Full results available here.