Another hugely successful World Cup for Irish Para-Cycling squad
The UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup held in Ostend, Belgium, proved to be another hugely successful event for the Irish para-cycling squad, who secured six medals overall and a number of hugely impressive performances.
One of the major success stories of the competition saw Irish tandem pairing Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal secure two gold medals in the Time Trial and Road Race events respectively.
There were also gold medal celebrations for Eoghan Clifford, who came first in the C3 Time Trial and went on to claim silver in the C3 Road Race, while Colin Lynch also has a medal to bring home, after taking silver in the C2 Time Trial.
Elsewhere, handcyclist Ciara Staunton was celebrating a good event, when she took home silver in the WH2 Time Trial, and became the overall leader of the World Cup series. Staunton was also part of the handcycling team relay squad – which also included Declan Slevin and Seamus Wall – who secured 10th place.
Speaking after the event ended on Sunday, May 22nd, Team Manager Neill Delahaye reflected: “Belgium was a significant event for us this year. It was the last opportunity for any bikes that have not yet met Rio selection criteria to attain results and put in performances that could contribute to their selection for the team going to the Games in Rio.
“It was the largest entry we have ever had for a World Cup which reflects the dynamism and success of our Para-cycling programs at both Elite and Development levels. A lot of athletes have put in massive commitment in order to get to this point, and our more experienced competitors put in some fantastic performances at the event, which shows that training is really going well for them."
Looking ahead to preparations for Rio 2016, he continued: “I am happy with where we are at at this point in our Rio preparation, and while I'm satisfied with how the World Cup went, there are always areas where we can improve and refine our approach. With just over 100 days to go until Rio, there's no room for complacency amongst our squad, staff, service provision team or riders.
“Everyone is aligned and pulling together to seek out the gains we need to improve and arrive to Rio at our best. Belgium has been a confidence boost for us to show us that we are getting there and the squad's success these past few days has also reinvigorated our drive to succeed. For now the hard work continues!” he finished.