The Paralympic paratriathlon course

T4 athlete George Peasgood raced the Test Event in 2015 and is in the ParalympicsGB team. Here he dissects the intricacies of the Copacabana course…

By Rafael Rabello de Barros [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

The Swim 

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It’s a fairly non-technical swim, with only one full 180° turn round three buoys, so will favour weaker swimmers. But if the water’s choppy, this will play more into the stronger swimmers’ hands. Having a good sighting reference on the way back into the beach will be key.

 
Transition 1

Out of the water into T1 is quick and sharp. If bunches form on the swim, this will be a key time to try and get ahead of others leading into the non-drafting bike element. Therefore stronger runners could find this advantageous.

The Bike Start

Like the Olympic course, the bike course features a 180° turn 100-200m after transition. Getting feet in shoes quickly will allow athletes to get the power on the road sooner; therefore maximising aerodynamics. The two long straights (per lap) are well over 1km long, so being able to maintain a good TT position at speed is key to a fast bike time. 

 
The Bike

The three dead turns at the north end of the course are quite wide and bike handling to maintain speed through them may well be key to the overall outcome of the race. British athletes such as Alison Patrick with Hazel Smith as her guide (PT5), Andy Lewis (PT2) and Joe Townsend (PT1) will enjoy these turns as their handling skills are among the best of their respective categories. 

 
The Run

The run incorporates two turns per lap. With the south turn being wide and sweeping it will be a quick course, but for the athletes racing later in the day the main focus will be trying to run in the shade. Also, if it’s windy, running on competitors’ shoulders will provide great cover for the 800m stretches.

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Paratriathlon: the ultimate guide

GB paratriathlon squad: the women

GB paratriathlon squad: the men