Saturday will see Australia’s eight-strong para-triathlon squad line up in their own World Triathlon Para Cup Test Event – although it is not a 2024 Paralympic selection race.
Front and centre will be Lauren Parker, the girl from Newcastle who has arrived into Paris with a gold and silver medal in her luggage after ticking a huge box at the World Cycling Championships – now chasing her 13th straight para-triathlon victory.
The 2020 Tokyo Paralympic silver medallist bagged gold in the Time Trial and silver in the Road Race in Scotland as she continues her remarkable journey towards places on the para-triathlon and para-cycling teams for next year’s Paris Paralympic Games.
Described by coach Atkins as “a superstar” – a term not used lightly in the world of triathlon but certainly an apt description.
“The Time Trial world title meant a lot to her and how she won it was extraordinary - beating World and Paralympic champions - which is nothing short of remarkable but very Lauren-like, so I wasn't surprised at all,” said Atkins.
“She is showing how she can adapt to both sports and still be on top - I've been so proud of her as I know we all are.”
Triathlon Australia’s Paralympic Performance Manager Kyle Burns knows his team must roll with the punches and take the challenge head on, on all counts, especially if the races are a duathlon format.
“They are certainly good quality fields on the cobbled street course with two separate transition areas," said Burns, who has had the Para group in a staging camp in Switzerland.
“Anyone who’s anyone will be in Paris for this one, it’s all about doing re-con for next year, a lot of learnings to take away that’s for sure.”
“It’s all about rolling with the punches…the atmosphere is certainly starting to build, and we just have to keep on task.
“You can definitely feel it and it’s time to turn the ship and head straight towards Paris now.
“It’s upon us and we’ll take it head on and this is the first chance to have a look at the course and hopefully the next 12 months will go smoothly, and we can deliver on the same course in 2024.”
You can catch all the action from the Para Cup Paris on TriathlonLive!
WORLD TRIATHLON PARA CUP PARIS | SATURDAY 19 AUGUST - 4PM AEDT
Justin Godfrey (PTS3)
Jeremy Peacock (PTS4)
Jack Howell (PTS5)
David Bryant (PTS5)
Sam Harding (PTVI)
Lauren Parker (PTWC)
Anu Francis (PTS2)
Sally Pilbeam (PTS4)