Three days into the 11-day Paralympics, paratriathlon will take to the stage for the first time, and as with the Olympic competition, the two days of swim, bike and run competition promise to be a world-class showcase of outstanding athleticism and sporting excellence.
We caught up with the British squad at their training camp in Lanzarote, and followed the group of 13 athletes, plus coaching staff, as they decamped to the Canaries for 14 days of focussed training. (Note: The final team won’t be announced until July 2016.)
With (almost) a full squad in attendance (this year minus PT4’s Lauren Steadman, who had already scheduled to do a big training block in New Zealand with her coach Sam Warriner, and PT5’s Melissa Reid who continued her training at home in Cornwall), the following photoshoot showcases the athletes in all their sweaty glory, pounding the waves, tarmac and gym floor to build Brazil-bound bodies and remind the world that the British are coming… and they’re getting ready to rule Rio.
A demonstration of team cohesion between PT1’s Phil Hogg and Joe Townsend, as Phil motivates Joe through a tough and challenging strength and conditioning session.
Alison Patrick (PT5) and guide, Nicole Walters, covering miles in the beautiful yet unrelenting Lanzarote environment. Alison will race with all three guides this season, which is invaluable in developing the strongest pairings possible.
PT4 athlete Stefan Hogan focusses on his core in the gym. Core strength is of paramount importance when imbalances, such as Stefan missing a forearm, are present.
George (PT4, right) and Jack Peasgood tough it out during one of the squad’s daily pool swim sessions. Jack provides organisational and training support to the team, with experience of tandem guiding as well as being an excellent swimmer who can push the athletes in the pool.
Stefan Hogan (PT4) supports Joe Townsend (PT1) up the beach to his wheelchair after an open-water session. Camps are designed to be tough, but also foster a culture of working together to achieve collective goals.
George Peasgood (PT4) progresses his riding skills on the rollers, learning to catch balls while riding as smoothly as possible. Coach Steve Casson assists with this drill.
Phil Hogg and Joe Townsend working on cadence during a long downhill. The course in Rio may be flat, but the ability to push at a high cadence will put the athletes in a stronger position on race day.