Irish Paracycling Squad head to World Championships in Switzerland
The Irish team for the Paracycling World Road Championships heads to Switzerland this week buoyed with confidence after a successful World Road Cup campaign.
Six athletes competing on four bikes form the squad charged with representing Ireland’s hopes in the demanding countryside around the central Swiss town of Nottwil on what looks certain to be the toughest parcours ever presented at a Paracycling World Championships.
Colin Lynch (MC2), Eoghan Clifford (MC3) and the tandem pairings Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal (WB), and Peter Ryan and Dermot Radford (MB) are gearing up to compete in Thursday’s time trials and Saturday’s road races.
Former word time trial champion Lynch will begin his campaign as the top ranked MC2 rider in the world. Lynch, who won his first world title in the time trial at the 2011 world championships in Denmark, has taken time trial victories in this year’s Paracycling World Road Cup in Italy and Switzerland.
Galway’s Eoghan Clifford burst on the paracycling scene last year after a long career challenging himself with success against able bodied competition and made an immediate impact, winning both the road race and the time trial at the World Championships in the USA.
Clifford has backed that up with two time trial successes and two road race bronze medals in the Paracycling Road World Cup this season to lie second in the standings with two events to go.
Katie-George Dunlevy and her sighted pilot Eve McCrystal sprinted to the silver medal in the road race at last year’s world championships in Greenville, South Carolina and return to the world stage this week following a third place in the time trial in the World Road Cup in Italy earlier this season.
The final Irish bike in action this week is the men’s tandem pairing of Peter Ryan piloted by Dermot Radford.
Ryan represented Ireland at the Road World Championships in Canada in 2013 and at the Track World Championships in Apeldoorn this year, on both occasions piloted by Damien Shaw.
For Nottwil he teams up with world championship debutant Dermot Radford who has earned his selection with a lot of hard work and commitment over the past two years, piloting and competing at many national races along with several international paracycling and tandem specific meetings, including C1 and World Cup events.
The Irish team travel with confidence, though team coach Neill Delahaye points out that the organisers have presented the riders with a particularly difficult course.
“The Worlds course this year is going to be particularly challenging,” says Delahaye “There are 2 loops, the shorter one is 7k with a 2k climb. The bigger loop of 15.5km has the same 2k climb and and also a 4k climb with some very fast technical descents.
“It will make for some very hard racing and is, to date, the most difficult route for a Paracycling Road Worlds.
“We have done our homework and been competing well this year to date but the World Championships is always another step up. We know there are certain nations that always ride very well on the hills and with a parcours as selective as this there will be no hiding.
"We have put in a lot of specific training since the end of the Track World Championships and I am confident our riders are prepared to give it everything they have to deliver their best performance on the day.’’
For full results during the Paracycling World Road Championships see:-
Irish Team for 2015 UCI Para-Cycling Road Championships, Nottwil, Switzerland
Colin Lynch, MC2 Time Trial, MC2 Road Race, from Cheshire in England
Peter Ryan & Dermot Radford, MB Time Trial, MB Road Race, both from Tipperary.
Katie-George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal, WB Time Trial, WB Road Race, Dunlevy from Maidenhead in England, McCrystal from Dundalk, Co. Louth
Eoghan Clifford, MC3 Time Trial, MC3 Road Race, from Galway Bay CC, Co. Galway
Coach – Neill Delahaye
Manager – Tommy McGowan
Mechanic – Gerry Beggs
Physiotherapist – Johnny Loughrey
PROVISIONAL Competition Schedule - Irish team at UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship
(All times quoted are Irish time; schedule may be subject to change)
Day 1 – Thursday 30th July 2015
8am Colin Lynch M C2 Time Trial 21km
1pm Ryan & Radford M B Time Trial 31km
1pm Dunlevy & McCrystal W B Time Trial 31km
1pm Eoghan Clifford M C3 Time Trial 31km
Day 2 –Saturday 1st August 2015
7am Colin Lynch M C2 Road Race 56km
8.30am Eoghan Clifford M C3 Road Race 56km
12pm Ryan & Radford M B Road Race 108.5km
12.02pm Dunlevy & McCrystal W B Road Race 77.5km
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 and also 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/