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MORE CYCLING : Paracycling Last Updated: Mar 5, 2017 - 8:42:54 PM

Team Announcement UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles, USA
By Heather Boyle, Communications Officer
Mar 3, 2017,

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This weekend Cycling Ireland has a male tandem competing in the sprint events at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles, USA. On Saturday Martin Gordon and pilot Eamonn Byrne will be making their World Championship debut competing in the Men’s B Tandem 1km Time Trial, followed by the Men’s B Tandem Sprint on Sunday. The Championships run from Thursday 2nd March until Sunday 5th March.

Sligo man Martin Gordon has been a member of the Para-cycling Development Team for the last number of years having entered the sport via a fundraising cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Sundrive Track Team sprinter Eamonn Byrne has proven to be a perfect match for Gordon. Byrne has just begun a career break from his role as a Garda in Howth, and found cycling after stints as a track and field sprinter and as a rower.

Saturday will see Gordon and Byrne compete in the 1km Time Trial, which is a flat out effort against the clock in the Velodrome which saw Mark Downey and Felix English win gold last Sunday. The UCI Para-cycling Track World Championship event was a late addition to the Paracycling race calendar but speaking ahead of their competition Cycling Ireland Performance Coach Neill Delahaye believes their preparation has been good:

“While the late announcement of these Worlds did not give Martin and Eamonn a huge amount of time to prepare, they have worked very well together in training in Mallorca and we are confident they will deliver their best performance on the day.”

The Sprint event is a more technical event which takes place throughout Sunday. The Sprint involves a qualifying round where the tandems race over 200m against the clock, with the top riders progressing to the Match Sprint rounds where the competition becomes a cat and mouse tactical event.

”Tandem sprint events are very technical and while they are not experienced as a pairing together, they are looking forward to the challenge and excitement of taking on some of the best tandems in the world at these championships. The experience they will gain from this event is really going to put them in a strong position to develop for the future.”

This is the first time that a World Track Championships for Para-cycling has been held in the post-Paralympic season, and this is the first competition for the Irish team since the Paralympic Games in Rio. It will take place in the Velo Sports Centre Velodrome, Los Angeles, USA from the 2nd – 5th March.


Irish Team for 2016 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships

Martin Gordon (Stoker), M Tandem B Sprint, Sligo

Eamonn Byrne (Pilot), M Tandem B Sprint, Sundrive Track Team, Dublin

Coach: Neill Delahaye

Manager: Mark Kiely

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About Classification in Paralympic Sport:

Classification is a unique and integral part of Paralympic sport. It provides the structure to separate athletes with similar levels of impairments into groups, or classes as they are commonly known, so they can compete in fair and equal competitions against one another, and ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. This same principle exists in non-Paralympic sports where athletes are classified according to age, gender or weight divisions to allow for as fair competition as possible.

In para-cycling there are fourteen classifications based on functional disability type. B refers to the tandems, where the stoker is blind or visually impaired, and the pilot is sighted. H represents the handcycling events, and C refers to cyclists on regular, but adapted, solo bikes, who may have cerebral palsy, limb impairments and amputations. In these events the categories have numbers denoting the level of impairment, the lower numbers the more severe the impairments and the higher less so.

For more information on Para-cycling visit:
http://www.uci.ch/para-cycling/about/

Cycling Ireland Website: www.cyclingireland.ie

Paralympics Website: www.paralympics.ie



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