Lauren Steadman and Michael Taylor both claimed World Triathlon Para Cup gold for Great Britain in A Coruna, Spain over the wekend. Here’s our recap on the action along with selected results.
A Coruña, a port city in the Galicia region of Spain was the venue on Sunday for the latest World Triathlon Para Cup event, which also represented the final points opportunity for athletes seeking to gain points for Paralympic Games qualification. Further to my event preview piece, fortunately a last-minute points chase was not on the agenda for any of the potential GB team heading to Tokyo – more on that on Tuesday.
Free from rankings pressure, this was more about head-to-head racing for a few of GB’s best known para athletes, along with racing opportunities under the World Triathlon banner for some others who may well have their sights set on Paris 2024.
Steadman vs Cashmore delivers again
In the women’s PT5 category, Lauren Steadman and Claire Cashmore continued their rivalry (and friendship), with another great battle. Lauren took a clear victory in Leeds two weeks ago, but is was back to their typically close finishes this time, with Lauren taking the tape by just 12 seconds. Right now, you would have to suggest that they are the joint favourites heading out to Japan. Add in the USA’s defending champion, Grace Norman, and that should be a magnificent race to watch.
In the Men’s PT4 division, Michael Taylor continued with his impressive form which will surely see him selected, adding a Para Cup victory to his previous Para Series silver medals in both Leeds and Yokohama.
Bronze medallist back at Rio in 2016, Melissa Reid – guided by Rosie Weston – was fourth in the PTVI event, which was won again by Spain’s Susanna Rodriguez, who will be a tough challenge for Reid and fellow Brit, Alison Peasgood, later in the year.
European and World Champion in 2019, Fran Brown (PTS2) was racing in her first triathlon for 18 months. 2020 was a very tough one for her (I highly recommend this podcast to find out more about Fran, and her remarkable sporting and musical journey), and she was a DNF on Sunday. I don’t have ay further details at the time of writing, but fingers-crossed that it was nothing serious, for the multi-talented former Paraclimbing World Champion and recent British Cycling Para Gold medal winner.
Oscar Kelly (PTVI) was making his international debut, and guided by Charlie Harding, a silver medal represents a great start to his Great Britain representation. Rhys Jones (guided by Rhys James), finished fifth in the same event.
Continued experience too for Joshua Landmann. He finished fifth in the PTWC Wheelchair category as he continues to progress in the sport and build his racing experience.
Selected World Triathlon Para Cup results, A Coruna
World Triathlon Para Cup A Coruna, Spain – Sunday 20th June 2021 – 750m / 20km / 5km
1st -Lauren Steadman (GBR) – 1:07:25
2nd – Claire Cashmore (GBR) – 1:07:37
PTS 4 Men
1st – Michael Taylor (GBR) – 1:03:22
6th – Finley Jakes (GBR) – 1:10:19
1st – Veronica Plebani (ITA) – 1:27:57
DNF – Fran Brown (GBR)
1st – Arnaud Grandjean (FRA) – 1:03:46
2nd – Oscar Kelly (GBR) / Guide Charlie Harding – 1:04:51
5th – Rhys Jones (GBR) / Guide Rhys James – 1:07:34
1st – Susana Rodriguez (ESP) – 1:10:27
4th – Melissa Reid (GBR) / Guide Rosie Lindsay – 1:14:20
1st – Louis Noel (FRA) – 1:10:07
5th – Joshua Landmann (GBR) – 1:12:58
NB: (Header image, Photo Credit: Ben Lumley / British Triathlon, from 2019 Lausanne World Championship)