Dave Ellis and guide Luke Pollard led the way for the British Paratriathlon team as they were crowned World Champions with a dominant performance in the men’s PTVI category at the World Triathlon Para Championship finals. There was also medal success for both Claire Cashmore and Lauren Steadman in the Women’s PTS5 race as they claimed silver and bronze respectively.
The men’s PTVI category got proceedings underway at the World Triathlon Para Championships. Ellis and Pollard, who start over two minutes behind some of their competitors due to the staggered nature of PTVI classification race starts, exited the water in fourth spot with that gap down to just over a minute.
American Kyle Coon and his guide led out of T1, but their advantage was already less than a minute with the British pair putting in a quick transition.
After lap one of the 19.7km bike leg, Ellis and Pollard had moved into the podium places with Frenchman Antoine Perel and his guide now leading. The Brits soon took first place, but another French duo of Thibaut Rigaudeau and his guide quickly took it from them heading into T2.
It was on the run that Ellis and Pollard showed their strength though, and they soon pulled clear of the field to take the win and their third world championship crown as a pair and Ellis' sixth overall.
Ellis commented: “Another world title and really special. It gets harder as you get a bit older and I’m feeling that now.
“Paris was such a big focus, you want to go to the Test Event and we had a big camp before that, but you’re always going to get motivated for a world champs and every time they roll around, the championship races, you want to do really well. Just so happy to pick up the sixth [world title].”
Pollard added: “He’s [Dave is] pushing me. It’s our third one [world title] together and it’s your [Dave’s] sixth total. It’s always pretty special. A good race out here, the field is stacked, so it was really close racing all the way.”
The wheelchair athletes were up next with Josh Landmann, making his world championship debut, in action alongside Mel Nicholls.
Landmann spent large parts of the race in 11th but a strong push on the 5km final leg saw him climb up to eighth place as he crossed the line. Nicholls started the day strongly and exited the water in fourth but soon dropped back and ended the day in tenth after a difficult bike leg.
Steadman and Cashmore were the next athletes up in the women’s PTS5 race.
Cashmore put in a strong swim performance to exit the water in first place eight seconds clear of Canada’s Kamylle Frenette with Steadman third.
On the bike it was the familiar trio of Cashmore, Steadman and American Grace Norman out in front with little separating the trio across the 19.6km course.
The run proved the difference however, with Norman pulling clear of the British duo. The 5km run saw Cashmore show her strength to come second with Steadman securing bronze.
Reflecting on her silver, Cashmore said: “I’m so happy. I’ve had a little bit of an up and down year so to be honest it was just about getting through this year and getting to this point and, in that place [second], I’m really, really happy with that.
“Today it was so much fun out there, the fact that Grace, Lauren and I were all very close together. Coming out of the swim all together, then out on the bike it was a bit of chop and change as to who took the lead.
"Then onto the run, Grace got away quite quickly and Lauren and I were battling it out for the silver and bronze. That’s what I like, I like a race, and it was just great fun for the three of us to be back together racing again."
Steadman, who has had a return to racing after a break in 2022, also commented: “This might be up there with my favourite races. I’ve had a really tough year mentally, not sure about the love of swim, bike, run, that’s why I took the break [in 2022], and it has come back.
“At the moment I’ve done no triathlon-specific training, my only goal from my coach and British Triathlon was to stay happy, stay fit and stay strong, injury free."
In the men’s PTS5 race, Michael Salisbury had to settle for 11th place. The Brit was just outside the top ten for the majority of the race, and put in some good work on the run to close the gap.
He was beaten to tenth place in a sprint finish by home favourite Jairo Ruiz Lopez, with one second the difference at the line.
The final British action of the day came in the PTS4 category. Hannah Moore dominated the early proceedings of the race and led by over a minute into T1 but finished the bike leg four seconds behind eventual winner Kelly Elmlinger of the USA.
The run then saw Moore drop back and she was eventually beaten to third place by Australian Sally Pilbeam as she settled for fourth.
Finley Jakes was in action in the men’s PTS4 race for Great Britain. Jakes, who was the youngest competitor in his category, exited the water inside the top-ten but was quickly overtaken on the bike and by the time he entered T2 he was 13th, where he would stay for the remainder of the race.