Iseo welcomes paratriathletes for the second stop of the WPS
For the second stop of the 2018 season, the World Paratriathlon Series will travel to the iconic town of Iseo, in northern Italy, Paratriathletes will show their skills with a 750m swim, one lap, in the Lake of Iseo, one of the most astonishing small lakes of the world to then mount on their bikes for three laps of 7km each on a circuit that is almost completely flat, but offers a breathtaking view over the lake and a peculiar passage in the old city center of Iseo. For the last segment, athletes will do four laps 1,2km each in the center of the city, with an astonishing finish line located right in the center of the main square.
With the spectacular set up for athletes and spectators alike, the races will bring to the heart of the Old Continent the best paratriathlon action.
Iseo will be as close to a World Championships as a race could be, with all the recent winners of races in this category taking the start. The Dutch duo, Jetze Plat and Geert Schipper, have great chances of repeating their success in the previous WPS of the year in Yokohama, where they crossed the finish line in first and second. But British rising star Joseph Townsend, winner in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, will surely try to improve his third place in Yokohama. And eye should be kept also on the most veterans, Bill Chaffey (AUS), Fernando Aranha (BRA) and Giovanni Achenza (ITA), all of them with experience enough to shine in a course that they know really well, as they have all competed in Iseo before.
In the women’s race, eyes will be set on two former wheelchair marathon stars, Jade Jones (GBR) and Wakako Tsuchida (JPN). Both of them have proved that their swimming skills are quickly improving, with Jones claiming the first paratriathlon gold medal of the Commonwealth Games and Tsuchida claiming the victory in WPS Yokohama. Another one to watch will be indeed Lauren Parker (AUS), an athlete who suffered the accident that left her paralysed only one year ago and is improving race by race. On her second race as a paratriathlete, in Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, she claimed bronze, while in the next race, in Yokohama, she finished second. Would it be this one her first time on top of the podium?
Some well-known athletes will be competing in Iseo in the PTS2 class, with British Andy Lewis, American Mark Barr and Mohammed Lahna, competing under the ITU flag, assuming their roles as favourites. Spaniard Lionel Morales or French Stephane Bahier could also be among those to claim a medal at the finish line, as they already did in Yokohama in the first stop of the Series.
Among the women in the category, USA’s Allysa Seely is aiming to increase on her current tally of 13 gold medals in Paratriathlon events, but will be pushed hard by her compatriot, Hailey Danz, one of the new stars of paratriathlon in the USA. Another one to watch will be British Fran Brown, third in the World Championships last year in Rotterdam, but local Veronica Yoko Plebani will count with the support of the thousands of locals cheering in Iseo for their Italian heroes.
With the class being once more the one with fewer participants, is quite likely that Spaniard Daniel Molina will grab in Iseo his second gold of the season, after starting the season with a win in Aguilas World Cup. On the women’s side, the favourite for the title is Elise Marc (FRA), winner in Besancon World Cup and Yokohama WPS this year.
Another one used to be on top of the podium is Alexis Hanquinquant (FRA). Strong in the swim and powerful on the bike leg, the French is aiming for the second WPS win of the season, and looks like the rest of the field will have to battle for the other spots on the podium. Alejandro Sanchez Palomero (ESP) or Steven Crowley (GBR) are potential candidates for the top positions, but it will surely be worth to keep an eye on Hideki Uka (JPN) and Omar Bermejo (USA).
On the women’s field, Sally Pillbeam (AUS) is really looking forward to improve her ranking with a win in Iseo, but will have to keep an eye for Anna Plotnikova (RUS), winner in Iseo last year and who knows the circuit extremely well.
The PTS5 category will be one of the most disputed ones in Isea, with the three stars of the category taking the star. Canadian Stefan Daniel, silver in Rio 2016 Paralympics, is one of the fastest swimmers in the field, but will have to face another fast athlete in the water: George Peasgood. Lining up with him will be Jairo Ruiz Lopez (ESP) and Yannick Bourseaux (FRA), both with an excellent chance of stepping onto the podium, but also will be worth to keep an eye on Chris Hammer (USA), who had an extraordinary beginning of the season.
As for the women, the Rio 2016 silver medallist Lauren Steadman (GBR) is widely considered the favourite to claim gold in Iseo, but it won’t be an easy task. Among the strong rivals looking to make an impact on the top three will be Gwladys Lemoussu (FRA) and Alisa Kolpakchy (UKR) both surely among the front pack as the finish approaches.
The Visually Impaired category is also going to be packed with quality athletes. In the men’s field, British Dave Ellis has started the 2018 season as he finished the 2017 one: in first place. After winning in Yokohama WPS and in Eton Dorney World Cup, he will be willing to step on top of the podium also in Iseo, as he did in 2014. Another ones to watch in this race will be the Spaniard Hector Catala Laparra, and Lukasz Wietecki, both really strong in the run segment.
In the women’s race the battle will be between Susana Rodriguez (ESP), winner in Yokohama WPS, and Alison Patrick (GBR), winner in Eton Dorney. Both athletes have shown equally strong swim and bike segments, and is likely that it will all be decided in the last km of the run. But don’t forget Anna Barbaro (ITA) or Amy Dixon (USA), who would be with them in the podium at the end of the race.
You will be able to watch 2018 Iseo World Paratriathlon Series on triathlonlive.tv/iseo, and follow updates on @triathlonlive Twitter account.
Related Event: 2018 Iseo - Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Series
|Results: PTWC Men|
|1.||Jetze Plat H2||NED||00:57:35|
|2.||Geert Schipper H2||NED||01:01:47|
|3.||Joseph Townsend H2||GBR||01:04:37|
|4.||Giovanni Achenza H2||ITA||01:05:39|
|5.||Bill Chaffey H2||AUS||01:08:10|
|Results: PTS2 Men|
|Results: PTS3 Men|
|Results: PTS4 Men|
|2.||Alejandro Sánchez Palomero||ESP||01:05:31|
|Results: PTS5 Men|
|3.||Jairo Ruiz Lopez||ESP||01:00:35|