Fourth for Rohan in the H2 Road Race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, SC – USA

Ireland’s top handcyclist, Mark Rohan, came agonisingly close to winning a second bronze medal in what has been one of Ireland’s most successful Paracycling Road World Championships. Rohan’s race started fast, with the Paralympic Champion staying in the main group for most of the day, behind eventual winner and defending World Champion Luca Mazzone of Italy. On the line USA’s William Groulx took silver, with Tobias Fankhauser (SUI) edging ahead of Rohan, taking the bronze medal.

Rohan, who won bronze in the Time Trial on Saturday, closed the Irish campaign at the World Championships with fourth place, in a weekend that saw Eoghan Clifford shine in the Men’s C3 category, winning two world titles, and the tandem pairing of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal winning silver in the Women’s B Road Race. The Championships ran from Friday 28th August until Monday the 1st September.

The Men’s H2 race started aggressively, with the defending World Champion, Mazzone, establishing a lead with Groulx. Following a brief chase in pursuit of the break, Rohan rode a smart race, settling into a group a short distance back. Mazzone pushed up the pace at the halfway mark, pulling away from the American rider. As the riders approached the line Mazzone had a clear lead, with Groulx taking silver, leaving a select group including Rohan and Fankhauser fighting for bronze.  A disappointed Rohan had to settle for fourth place at the finish.

Speaking after the road race, Coach Neill Delahaye said “I’m disappointed for Mark with fourth. He rode smart, and looked strong throughout. We were sure his sprint would bring him over the line in bronze, but it didn’t happen on the day.”

This has been a phenomenal Championship for Ireland, with Eoghan Clifford sensationally winning two gold medals in his Paracycling World Championship debut, the women’s tandem winning silver, narrowly behind the GB World Champions, and Mark Rohan winning silver in the Men’s H2 time trial.

Delahaye is thrilled with the performances of the Irish team, “To get four medals at the Worlds is brilliant. It’s particularly special to get it on the road, where there are so many uncontrollables, like punctures and mechanicals. It means when it all comes together like this and you get results like this, you get a real pleasure out of it. Next up for the riders is a good recovery phase, they have had a long year, especially the riders who also raced on the track, and for us it is about planning for the next two years to Rio. We need to build and to keep this momentum going.  The atmosphere on this team is very good and positive. Everyone is encouraging and it’s a great mix between new blood and experience, with all riders still performing really well. With this kind of atmosphere everyone works hard, they have the motivation to put in the miles, and then the results follow.”


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Silver for Dunlevy and McCrystal in the WB Road Race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, SC – USA

Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal have stormed to silver in the Women’s B tandem Road Race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, SC, USA today.

The Irish duo looked comfortable from the start, and positioned themselves well in the closing kilometres of the 81.6km race.  Maidenhead based Dunlevy and pilot McCrystal, from Dundalk, pushed hard for the line, narrowly missing out on the gold medal, which was awarded to GB after analysis of the photo finish. Spain won the bronze medal. This brings Ireland’s medal tally from the World Championships to four, adding to Eoghan Clifford’s two golds, and Mark Rohan’s silver in the time trial.

The men’s tandem of James Brown and Bryan McCrystal finished in 17th position in a race won by Spain. The Championships run from Friday 28th August until Monday the 1st September.

The women’s B road race comprised of 8 laps on a 10.2km circuit. Paralympian Dunlevy paired up with McCrystal this season, and they have been going from strength to strength. For the opening laps of the race the Irish women stayed close to the front of the bunch, looking stronger as the race progressed, and as the pace pushed up.  With one lap to go, the women’s race had to be neutralised as the men were approaching, bringing everyone to a standstill. Once racing again, the Irish pair focused on moving towards the front, despite a minor mechanical, and took a long sprint for the line. Unfortunately the GB tandem lunged passed them at the finish, pipping them for gold.

A delighted Dunlevy speaking after the race said “We’re delighted, it was hard, but we’re over the moon. All the hard work has paid off. After the puncture in the Time Trial on Friday we were really hungry for a medal. Myself and Eve make a great team, the whole squad is great, and we wouldn’t be here without our coach Neill (Delahaye). As we got into the race, we felt brilliant, and as it went on we felt better. It’s been a long few years waiting for this, and with Eve we make a great team. I’m really excited about the future. After the neutralised section our gear was stuck in the small ring, for the last half lap. But we still just time trialled from the last roundabout, we are good at the long sprint, so we just went for it. We have great support here, my family were here to watch us, and it was really nice to get the medal in front of them, after all the support they have given over the years.”

Ireland has only one rider left, with Paralympic Champion Mark Rohan racing tomorrow in the H2 51km road race. Rohan has already won a bronze medal in these championships, and will be competing at 1pm.


Gold Again for Clifford in the C3 Road Race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, SC – USA

Eoghan Clifford has stormed to his second World Title of the weekend, winning the Men’s C3 Road Race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, SC, USA today. The Galway based rider pushed ahead with three laps to go, and extended his distance to the line, with Steffen Warius (GER) in Silver and Fabio Anobile (ITA) in Bronze. This is a sensational World Championship debut for the rider who won gold in the MC3 Time Trial on Friday.

Colin Lynch finished the C2 Road Race in 10th place, in a race that was won by Colombia’s Alvaro Galvis Becerra.

The Championships run from Friday 28th August until Monday the 1st September.

The Men’s C3 Road Race was 7 laps of a 10.2km course, and started off explosively. With many countries fielding a team of riders, Clifford sat in until the pace relaxed, and rode off the front in the technical section with three laps to go. Once he got a bit of distance, Clifford committed until the line, winning by a margin of almost two minutes.

Speaking after the race Clifford said “I can’t believe it. I had planned to not show in the first few laps, but it was very explosive, and I was struggling pretty bad, so hung in towards the back. I felt that as they tired and lost the explosiveness, I stayed the same. At the start/finish area with 3 laps to go, I got about 20-30 metres in the technical section, and put my head down to see what would happen. I am the kind of rider that if I can get a gap I can hold it, and they would have to commit to a chase to catch me, I didn’t want it to come to a sprint. When I got up to two minutes ahead, I knew I had it. I would like to thank the rest of the Irish team and management here. They made it really easy for me; the other squad members have so much experience, and were really helpful.”

Racing continues this evening with the Male and Female tandems, when they compete in the Road Race at 7.30pm Irish time.


Bronze for Rohan in H2 Time Trial at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, SC – USA

Double Paralympic Champion Mark Rohan has won a bronze medal in the UCI Para-cycling World Championships in Greenville, SC, USA today. The race was won by USA rider William Groulx, with reigning World Champion Luca Mazzone taking silver. Rohan was Ireland’s sole rider competing on Day 2 of the event. This is the Ireland’s second medal, following Eoghan Clifford’s gold medal debut in the Men’s C3 Time Trial yesterday. The Championships run from Friday 28th August until Monday the 1st September.

The 16.6km race was two laps of an 8.3km hilly circuit, which favoured the American and Italian riders, leaving a disappointed Rohan battling for third. Groulx and Mazzone are experienced sportsmen, having competed at numerous Paralympic Games in Wheelchair Rugby (Groulx) and Swimming (Mazzone).

After the race Rohan said “I’m disappointed with the bronze. I trained all year for first, and put a lot of work and commitment into it. After winning a few gold medals, a bronze isn’t what you train for, you train for gold. I went well on the first lap, but on the second lap I didn’t go well on the hill. Flatter courses suit me better. In the World Cup in May I beat Mazzone by 20 seconds, but it was on a flat course, a completely different course.”

Rohan competes in the Road Race on Monday, where race tactics come into play. Sunday will see four Irish bikes compete, with Ireland’s newest World Champion Eoghan Clifford targeting the 71.4km road race, along with Colin Lynch and the two tandems.

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