World Triathlon Olympic and Paralympic Test Events Paris: 5 Things we learned

by doug.gray@triathlon.org on 24 Aug, 2023 11:58 • Español
World Triathlon Olympic and Paralympic Test Events Paris: 5 Things we learned

The Test Event reports are in, and we can safely say that the Paris 2024 triathlon action is going to be something very, very special.

Yes there were issues with the water tests that underline how the city of Paris spending over a billion dollars cleaning up the Seine will be money well spent not just for the Games but the people of Paris at large, the Alexandre III bridge setting was one of the most breath-taking we have ever seen, and the biggest race of the season fully lived up to the hype.

So as hard as it is pulling just five takeaways from four days, don’t forget you can make up your own mind by watching all the races back on-demand over on TriathlonLive.tv.

1. Only one certainty in Yee vs Wilde – nothing is certain

We’ve seen man-hugs and deflated shrugs, crashes of despair and plenty of flair, since the battle of Yee versus Wilde first fully gripped us at Tokyo 2020. Who can forget the mixed emotion of Wilde’s WTCS Leeds win, a fully-recovered Yee’s Montreal roar or Hayden’s Hamburg home-run? This time it was a forlorn New Zealander setting up his bike ahead of the race after coming off his bike on his way to the venue, a badly banged hip not hampering his bike but calling a halt to his run before it had begun. Not the end to his race we wanted, but suffice to say Yee mopped up the gold in his absence to set up an almighty world title chase in Pontevedra.

2. Germany and GB spoil Team France’s Paris party

First it was the lethal kick of Britain’s Beth Potter to deny Cassandre Beaugrand, then the combined efforts of the Belgian Hammers, GB and Germany in the Mixed Relay to keep the French team off the podium that shocked the thousands of fans lining the streets of the capital and baying for a home gold. That was all after Vasco Vilaca had out-kicked Dorian Coninx to silver in the men’s race. Perhaps a useful reminder that the French won’t have it all their own way when the Games finally land next year, but just as likely the triathlon equivalent of kicking a hornet’s nest – the tricolor will be more fired up than ever to avoid a repeat of their Test Event disappointment.

3. The breakaway that never was vs. the pack of plenty

After pulling together one of the best swims of his career (Australian pre-season training camp paying off??), and considerable French firepower alongside early on the bike, Alex Yee was disappointed to see the bike packs come together so quickly behind him. “I was all into trying to help everyone stay away but it didn’t seem like everyone was too motivated… I was just buzzing to have a good swim. I have been feeling absolutely horrible in the pool so I am glad I was able to put something representative together from the hard work I have been putting in.” What we saw play out was a huge bike pack swarming round the course safely, nobody able to make a break stick. That could all change if Team France look to ‘do an Abu Dhabi’ or if team plans shake things up at the Games.

4. Team Germany are huge contenders for Paris gold

Much like Paris 2024 Mixed Relay favourites (we can still call them that?) France, Germany has been quietly amassing a huge pool of athletes on which to be able to call for their Mixed Relay squad. For the Test Event, that meant Tim Hellwig getting things underway (perfect for the duathlon format switch), Lisa Tertsch on leg two (also better on land than in water), Jonas Schomburg on three (a super-sprint weapon be it in goggles, on bike or in running shoes) and Laura Lindemann again underlining her place as the anchor woman every team would want. That’s two changes from the team that won the world title in Hamburg, and something of a selection headache brewing for the selectors even after (or because) Lindemann, Hellwig and Nina Eim all booked their tickets to Paris via their individual performances at the Test Event.

5. Hanquinquant looking over his shoulder

There’s not many tall enough to look over Alexis Hanquinquant’s shoulder at the best of times, but he will have been glancing nervously backwards as another Frenchman, Pierre-Antoine Baele, came closer than pretty much anyone has in the last four years to toppling the untoppable PTS4 machine. Hanquinquant said before the race that he wants the Paris Paralympics to open up France to the sport, and there is no doubt that the charismatic 37-year-old going toe-to-toe with Baele for gold down the Champs Elysees and Alexandre III bridge would do exactly that.


Article gallery
Related Event: 2023 World Triathlon Olympic Games Test Event Paris
17 - 18 Aug, 2023 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Alex Yee GBR 01:41:02
2. Vasco Vilaca POR 01:41:15
3. Dorian Coninx FRA 01:41:15
4. Pierre Le Corre FRA 01:41:17
5. Léo Bergere FRA 01:41:20
Results: Elite Women
1. Beth Potter GBR 01:51:40
2. Cassandre Beaugrand FRA 01:51:46
3. Laura Lindemann GER 01:51:59
4. Emma Lombardi FRA 01:52:00
5. Taylor Knibb USA 01:52:04
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