For the 9th consecutive year, the French city of Besancon is ready to host the best para triathletes in the world. It was less than a year ago that the Tokyo Paralympic champions were crowned, but the road for the Paris 2024 Games has just started, so expect a combination of new names and some para triathlon stars lining up this Saturday in Oselle Plage.
On the PTWC category, and with neither Jetze Plat (NED) nor Geert Schipper (NED) racing in Besancon this weekend, the race looks like a perfect opportunity for the Tokyo silver medallist Florian Brungaber (AUT) to claim victory. Strong bikers like Ahmed Andaloussi (FRA) will have their chances, but he will need to keep an eye on some of the newcomers to the sport like Brendan Bischoff (NED) or Louis Noel (FRA). On the women’s side, and with only two athletes lining up on Saturday, should make it an easy task for Mona Francis (FRA) to take the tape.
Another French athlete, Jules Ribstein, is the clear favourite on the PTS2 class, even though the current World Champion will have to show his credentials to beat younger athletes like Geoffrey Wersy (FRA) or Wim de Paepe (BEL).
The Men’s PTS3 class is the one with more new athletes lining up, knowing that the class will make its debut at the Paris 2024 Paralympics. Cedric Denuziere (FRA), Jonathan Deleidi (FRA), Giovanni Sciaccaluga (ITA) and Björn Mass (GER) are making their debut at the World Cup level this Saturday, even though on paper Nico Van Der Burgt (NED) has more chances of crossing the finish line in first place. On the Women’s category, it will be a matter of either Coline Grabinski (FRA) or newcomer Sanne Koopman (NED) finishing in first place.
It will be difficult for anyone to beat Paralympic and World Champion Alexis Hanquinquant (FRA) on home soil. The Frenchman seems to be unbeatable in the PTS4 category, the one with more athletes entered for this Saturday, including Marc Rodriguez Palet (ESP), Pierluigi Maggio (ITA) or Fabrizio Suarato (ITA), which will make it a race with new dynamics that will make it harder for the likes of Finlay Jakes (GBR), Erik Hultquist (USA), Jeremy Peacock (AUS) or Pierre-Antoine Baele (FRA). On the women’s side, it will be an open race with all the athletes lining up with chances to take the victory. Marta Francés Gómez (ESP), Emma Meyers (USA), Kendra Herber (USA) and Kelly Worrell (USA) have all shown great form before, so it will be a hard race for anyone to claim.
On the PTS5 category, all eyes will be set on what promises to be another epic battle between Paralympic champion Martin Schulz (GER) and bronze medallist Stefan Daniel (CAN), even though a few others could challenge them, especially the likes of Ronan Cordeiro (BRA) or Guenther Matzinger (AUT). Another Paralympic champion will line up this weekend in Besancon, Grace Norman (USA), who will be ready to repeat the victory she had a few weeks ago in the World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama, even though Claire Cashmore (GBR) or Camylle Frenette (CAN) could potentially challenge the American.
Dave Ellis (GBR) will be the one to watch in the PTVI category, but again the addition of new athletes to this category could change the dynamics of the race. Strong contenders like Anatolii Varfolomieiev (UKR), Rhys Jones (GBR), Antoine Perel (FRA) or Thibaut Rigaudeau (FRA) will be trying to make an impact on the race, with Gerasimos Lignos (GRE, Spaniards Rafael Cabello Sanchez and Manuel Garnica Roldan or Paul Lloveras (FRA) making their debut on the category. On the women’s PTVI, the absence of the current Paralympic and World Champion Susana Rodriguez leaves the floor open for the likes of Alison Peasgood (GBR) or Annouk Curzillat (FRA) to claim the victory.
Review the full start lists here.