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MORE CYCLING : Paracycling Last Updated: Sep 4, 2017 - 10:52:49 AM

Double Gold for Katie George-Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal at World Championships
By Heather Boyle, Cycling Ireland Communications Officer
Sep 3, 2017,

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Photo courtesy of Boogs Photography (Andrew McFadden).

MEDAL ALERT: Double Gold for Katie George-Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal at World Championships

Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal made it two out of two at the UCI 2017 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa today, winning the WB Tandem Road Race. In a bunch finish the powerful Irish duo outsprinted Poland to take the coveted World Title; Greece rounded off the podium winning Bronze.

Photo courtesy of Boogs Photography (Andrew McFadden).

Paralympic Champion and double World Champion Katie-George Dunlevy described a tough course with a finish that suited the Irish: “The hill on the lap made it tough and challenging, this lent itself to slightly negative racing, but that worked for us. The finish suited us perfectly – there was a tight left turn 700m from the line, and the Polish bike flew around the corner first. The gap was big enough, but we were confident and just drove it and passed them.”

With six laps to go, the distance of the race was altered, reducing the laps from fourteen laps to twelve. Pilot of the bike Eve McCrystal described a change in the dynamic of the race at that point: “With six laps to go a motorbike came up to us, and we were told that there were four to go. That call changed the dynamic of the race but we stayed calm and agreed that we would just go for it. We knew that we would be able to win it, but you just never know what will happen in a road race.”

Dunlevy was particularly delighted to win in the Road Race saying: “This is a massive thing. It’s everything I’ve worked for since Rio, but it’s also four years of hard work – and we have come so close to a win in the Road Race before. Road racing is my favourite part – I get such a buzz from it. We worked incredibly hard for this gold medal.”

While the Irish women have dominated the World Cup season this year – with Dunlevy winning with both McCrystal and Katharine Smyth – the season has had challenges of its own: “I’ve been dealing with an injury since April, so at times this year it has been touch and go. I’ve had great support from Neill (Cycling Ireland Performance Coach) and the Sport Ireland Services, but it has been a tough year – every hard session has caused me immense pain, so I’m going to take a bit of a break and recover completely.”

These challenges have made the double gold medal win, and coveted rainbow jerseys particulary special: “I’m going to enjoy this for now. We can’t quite believe it, and it will really start to sink in over the next few days. We are tired now, apart from the racing, mentally preparing for the Worlds takes a lot out of you – but it’s great. It’s just brilliant.”

There’s no immediate rest planned for McCrystal, who now switches her focus to An Post Rás na mBan, the premier race on the Irish race calendar which takes place in Kilkenny from Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th September: “I’m going straight to Rás na mBan after this and I’m really looking forward to it. There will be no pressure on me, I’d love a stage win, but it really depends on my recovery from today. I don’t get in until Tuesday, and then it’s kids, school runs and Rás na mBan, in that order! It will be hectic, so I’ve taken the pressure off myself.”

Earlier today newcomer Ronan Grimes had the race of his life in the MC4 category – finishing in 8th place, just 32 seconds outside gold. The Dublin based Scott Orwell Wheeler rider was racing at the World Championships for the first time, rising to the challenge. Andrew Nicholson was also competing in this category, finishing 12th in hotly contested race. Colin Lynch was 11th in the MC2 Road Race this morning, finishing with Swiss rider Roger Bollinger.

Also in action were the two male tandems of Peter Ryan and Sean Hahessy and Damien Vereker piloted by Dermot Radford. Both tandems were forced out of the race with mechanical issues. The handcycling Team Relay saw the Irish team of Ciara Staunton, Declan Slevin and Seamus Wall finishing in 9th place.

This brings to a close what has been a hugely successful 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships which ran from the 31st August – 3rd September, with two world titles being secured by the Irish WB Tandem of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal.


RESULTS:

Women’s WB Tandem Road Race:

Gold Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal (IRL) 2:05:54
Silver Iwona Podkoscielna and Aleksandra Teclaw (POL) 00:00
Bronze Eleni Kalatzi and Argyro Milaki (GRE) 00:00

Men’s MC2 Road Race:

Gold Tristan Chernove (CAN) 1:33:47
Silver Darren Hicks (AUS) 00:00
Bronze Francois Lacroix (FRA) 00:00

11th Colin Lynch (IRL) +05:34

Men’s MB Tandem Road Race:

Gold Nelson Javier Serna Moreno and Marlon Perez Arango (COL) 2:29:45
Silver Tristan Bangma and Patrick Bos (NED) +00:27
Bronze Marcin Polak and Michal Ladosz (POL) +00:27

DNF Peter Ryan and Sean Hahessy (IRL)
DNF Damien Vereker and Dermot Radford (IRL)

Men’s MC4 Road Race

Gold Tobias Vetter (GER) 2:06:47
Silver Kyle Bridgwood (AUS) 00:00
Bronze Sergei Pudov (RUS) 00:00

8th Ronan Grimes (IRL) +00:32
12th Andrew Nicholson (IRL) -1 Lap

Men’s Team Relay

Gold Italy 16:37
Silver USA +00:06
Bronze Germany 00:51

9th Ireland (Declan Slevin, Seamus Wall, Ciara Staunton)

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Wall Finishes 12th in World Championship Road Race Debut
News Release, 2nd September 2017

Ireland’s Handcyclists had mixed fortunes on the first day of road racing at the UCI 2017 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa today. Declan Slevin finished eighteenth in the MH3 race, Ciara Staunton was second in the WH2 race, and Wexford man Seamus Wall recorded his highest world level result to date, finishing 12th in the MH4 60.7km road race.

Speaking after his road race Wall was delighted with his performance. Relatively new to cycling, the former discus thrower and shot putter has shown consistent improvement over the past twelve months:

“I thoroughly enjoyed it out there. I am three years racing competitively, and in the last few months made a few changes to my bike set up and to my training, and this really helped today. This is my first world championship, and I knew it would be at a different level to the world cups, but I knew that I was ready to rise to the challenge.”

The road race was 10 laps of a 6km hilly circuit, and gutsy performance from Wall saw him achieve his highest world level finishing result to date:

“I stayed with the front bunch for as long as possible, and really dug deep. I figured that if it’s hurting me, it’s hurting someone else. When the bunch broke up I stayed with another guy and we raced together. When I finished I thought I was 14th, but then found out I was 12th, and am really pleased with that. It just shows you should always keep going and pushing on. The standard has been really high in the World Cups this year where I was finishing in the twenties. I’m really happy with today’s performance.”

Wall is part of a strong community of cyclists in Wexford, competing for Barrow Wheelers, and describes a whirlwind few years in handcycling:

“In three years I have switched from short sharp efforts to an endurance sport, and have dropped over five stone in doing so. I initially bought a bike to get back in shape, but immediately got the competitive bug. I first started looking at cycling in 2012, and I was inspired and influenced by Mark Rohan when I saw what he could do. Unfortunately, I’ve to travel overseas for handcycling road races, but I compete in as many Time Trials as I can – and am currently leading the Invacare Paracycling Time Trial League.”

The past week has motivated and inspired Wall: “I’m buzzing after today, and I have hunger for what will come in the next few years. I’m still only in my cycling infancy, so am aiming for 2020.”

Tomorrow is the final day of racing for the Irish Paracycling Team, with the three tandems competing on the same circuit for the Road Races. Fresh from winning the World Title in the Time Trial, Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal are targeting another podium. Colin Lynch, Andrew Nicholson and Ronan Grimes will also be flying the flag for Ireland on the solo bikes.

The Para-cycling Road World Championships runs from the 31st August – 3rd September, with Irish riders competing on each day.


RESULTS:

Women’s WH2 30.4km Road Race:

Gold Carmen Koedood (NED) 1:34:54

2nd Ciara Staunton (IRL) -1 lap


Men’s MH3 60.7km Road Race:

Gold David Franek (FRA) 1:42:19
Silver Paolo Cecchetto (ITA) 1:42:19
Bronze Heinz Frei (SUI) 1:42:22

18th Declan Slevin (IRL)

Men’s MH4 60.7km Road Race:

Gold Jetze Plat (NED) 1:42:47
Silver Rafal Wilk (POL) 1:42:49
Bronze Bernd Jeffre (GER) 1:46:00

12th Seamus Wall (IRL)
11th Damien Vereker and Dermot Radford (IRL) 43.21.20

Men’s MC4 Time Trial

Gold Jozef Metelka (SVK) 42.11.02
Silver Kyle Bridgwood (AUS) 42.23.08
Bronze Diego German Duenas Gomez (COL) 43.46.44

12th Andrew Nicholson (IRL) 47.10.39
13th Ronan Grimes (IRL) 47.21.68

----


MEDAL ALERT: Katie George-Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal are Time Trial World Champions

Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal stormed home with a convincing win in the WB Tandem Time Trial at the UCI 2017 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermartizburg, South Africa today, with a 6 second advantage over Lora Fachie and Corrie Hall of Great Britain who won silver. The Polish pairing of Iwona Podkoscielna and Aleksandra Teclaw won the bronze medal in the 31km race against the clock.

This is the first World Title for the Irish tandem, who are Paralympic Champions in the Time Trial, having also won silver in the Road Race at the Paralympic Games in Rio last year. Earlier this morning Colin Lynch finished 5th in the MC2 Time Trial, within 14 seconds of a medal, and just 31 seconds separating the field.

Speaking after winning the World Title stoker Katie-George Dunlevy described a hard, tight race:

“It was really, really tight; a fight to the line. The course was quite up and down, so it wasn’t one that really suited us, but in that fourth lap our strength and endurance really paid off. It was our endurance that brought us to the line!”

While Dunlevy and McCrystal are reigning Paralympic Champions, a rainbow jersey and world title has eluded the decorated athletes to date. Dunlevy said: “It feels amazing. We really wanted this title, our aim was to get those world stripes, we decided that straight after winning in Rio last year. We worked so so hard for this. I’m going to enjoy this moment forever. After winning in Rio it was a hard feat to come out this year and win again, but we are both just over the moon.”

McCrystal piloted the tandem and described a tight race. The Irish women were unaware of their victory after they crossed the line:

“After Rio, we immediately decided we wanted the stripes this year. In the World Cups in the run in this year we were winning by 40-50 seconds, but we knew it would be tighter today, and it was a matter of pulling together. After the first lap, we were ten seconds down, and going into the last lap we were five seconds up. But at the turn around point, with 3.5km to go, we were three seconds down again! We are long enough together on the bike to know not to panic, so we held our heads.”

In previous races the Irish tandem were particularly strong and successful on flat and fast courses. The 31km Pietermaritzburg route presented them with hills and cross winds, making it a challenging race:

“That was a really hard course. It was up and down, quite steep in sections too, with the cross wind playing a factor. It made it difficult to control the bike but we handled it well.”

This pairing has been together for the past three years, and they have mastered the art of good pacing, which is essential in the Time Trial, or race of truth:

“Our pacing was really good – we paced it well, and it’s what we do well in TTs. But after crossing the line I said to Katie that I think we got second. Then we saw Neill’s (Cycling Ireland Performance Coach) face and knew we had won the gold. He had us ready for that course, so we knew what to expect. It was fantastic.”

On a tandem the dynamic is different to solo bikes, with the combined effort of the two riders contributing to the performance. In Para-cycling the stoker is the rider with the visual impairment sitting on the back of the bike, with the pilot steering the bike. McCrystal added:

“It was such a relief to get the rainbow jersey. I knew that for Katie this was so important. It was important for me too, but it is so important for her as the stoker and the para athlete. On the tandem you are doing it together, it’s not just you that you are letting down, there’s someone else there too.”

Next up for the newly crowned World Champions is the Road Race on Sunday. While relieved to have won a world title, the determined duo are targeting gold again. Dundalk based McCrystal said:

“We want to win the road race, we are not going into it to not win. It’s 85km so longer than Rio, with 14 laps and a bit of a hill. There’s no reason why we can’t win, but it’s a road race, so that always is a bit of a lottery.”

Also competing today were the two male tandems of Peter Ryan and Sean Hahessy and Damien Vereker piloted by Dermot Radford. Both tandems raced well over the 31km course, finishing 9th and 11th respectively. In the Men’s MC4 Time Trials both Andrew Nicholson and Ronan Grimes made their World Championship debut, finishing 12th and 13th in a hotly contested category.

The Para-cycling Road World Championships runs from the 31st August – 3rd September, with Irish riders competing on each day.


RESULTS:

Women’s WB Tandem Time Trial:

Gold Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal (IRL) 45.40.57
Silver Lora Fachie and Corrie Hall (GBR) 45.46.02
Bronze Iwona Podkoscielna and Aleksandra Teclaw (POL) 47.02.75

Men’s MC2 Time Trial:

Gold Tristan Chernove (CAN) 35.32.72
Silver Darren Hicks (AUS) 35.49.16
Bronze Israel Hilario Rimas (PER) 35.50.96

5th Colin Lynch (IRL) 36.04.30

Men’s MB Tandem Time Trial:

Gold Marcin Polak and Michal Ladosz (POL) 39.17.24
Silver Stephen Bate and Adam Duggleby (GBR) 39.20.93
Bronze Vincent Ter Schure and Timo Fransen (NED) 40.00.59

9th Peter Ryan and Sean Hahessy (IRL) 41.24.22
11th Damien Vereker and Dermot Radford (IRL) 43.21.20

Men’s MC4 Time Trial

Gold Jozef Metelka (SVK) 42.11.02
Silver Kyle Bridgwood (AUS) 42.23.08
Bronze Diego German Duenas Gomez (COL) 43.46.44

12th Andrew Nicholson (IRL) 47.10.39
13th Ronan Grimes (IRL) 47.21.68




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