McCrystal Eyeing Gold at Para Cycling Track World Championships
A 13 person para cycling team has landed in the Netherlands ahead of the 2019 Para Cycling Para Cycling Track World Championships that are being hosted in Appeldoorn between Thursday March 14th and Sunday, March 17th.
The strong Irish team will include former World Championship bronze medallists, Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal. The tandem cycling stars are current double world champions on the road but have found the gold medals on the track that bit more difficult to achieve according to pilot, Eve McCrystal “we have 2 bronze medals on the track at World Championship level and, I’m not saying that bronze isn’t good enough but I would love to get higher and I know we have the strength and I know we have the ability to do it.”
This is possibly the best prepared Irish team going to the Trach World Championships after a 5 week training camp in Majorca that has helped to ensure that the team are all in the best possible position ahead of the competition “We are as prepared as well we can be, we’re ready to get a medal, I never go for anything less.”
Eve is one half of one of the most successful Irish sporting duos of recent years having recently completed the defence of their double world road championship medals. Their comfort working together has been a key factor in their incredible success as Eve points out “We always back each other, I just love being part of this team, I know how hard she is working and that I have to match that but I also love being part of a team, you have someone with you all the time, we warm up together and it just makes me feel so at ease that when I look at her and I go, right, well we are going to do this together and I know neither of us will ever give up.”
Eve and Katie George are a team within the larger Irish group that will be competing at the championship. There is a great camaraderie amongst the group that was cemented during the camp in Majorca that Eve feels gives a great lift to each cyclist “you get great support from the rest of the team as you compete, we all cheer each other on but we also have good fun as well off the track which is a massive help”
Despite the experience that Katie George and Eve have gained over the years they will be venturing into unknow territory when they join the mail tandem of Martin Gordon and Eamon Byrne in a joint event to get the competition underway on Thursday “the two teams are out on the track at the same time and it’s 4 laps, we will start and take the first 2 laps and then the men will take over with the fastest being counted towards the overall score, we’ve never done this before but it’s a great opener the day before our event so any nerves will be gone and we will have an opportunity to go through the full race routine before going out for our own event on Friday.”
There are dual aims for all of the Irish competitors who will be hoping to clinch World Championship medals but there is also the added target of securing Paralympic Games qualification.
The Irish Team that will be competing at the 2019 Para Cycling Para Cycling Track World Championships are: