Good luck and success-Ádh mór agus rath
Report and preview courtesy of Cycling Ireland & Para-cycling Ireland
Cycling Ireland has named a sizable squad to compete at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Milton, Canada from January 30th to February 2nd. Eleven riders will compete across 18 races in what promises to be a thrilling encounter on the boards. Ireland’s para-cycling squad have prepared diligently through track-focused training camps in Derby, Portugal and more recently at Cycling Ireland’s training base in Mallorca. The squad comprises a mix of youth and experience including five-time World Champions on the road, Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal. The duo will be aiming to transfer their world-beating form on the road into silverware on the track and launch their Tokyo 2020 campaign.
Ronan Grimes had a breakthrough performance at last year’s World Championships where he won Silver in the MC4 Scratch race. The Galway native backed that up with further success on the road, winning World Cup bronze at the end of 2019.
A relative newcomer to the world of para-cycling is former GAA footballer, Richael Timothy. Richael was forced to retire at the age of 21 but discovered a love of, and talent for, cycling. Richael is confident in her preparations and relishing the opportunity; I’m really looking forward to this year’s World Championships, unlike last year which was my first-time racing at this level. In 2019 I went into the competition with no expectations just looking to gain experience and to see how I faired against the best. “This year I’m going to compete, I believe I have developed and progressed as a rider since I was called into the squad less than a year ago. I want to go to these Worlds and compete against the best in the world instead of just taking part.”
Speaking about this crucial upcoming phase in Irish para-cycling, National Performance Coach Neill Delahaye says: ‘’This year is a huge year for the Paracycling Squad. We have two major Tokyo qualifying events remaining, the UCI Track World Championships and the UCI Road World Championships in June, and a huge workload of training to deliver in our preparation phases to ensure we are ready to compete with the World’s best in August in Tokyo. Every Nation will be moving quickly in Paralympic year and we have ramped up the intensity of our own preparation to ensure we hit the ground running in Milton for what will be a very competitive Track World Championships. All the riders have been very focused in recent months and have put in a lot of committed effort during the Autumn and Winter, pushing themselves and each other, to have their fitness at the level necessary for this competition. It will be a big Team effort to earn as many Nations ranking points as possible to secure slots for Team Ireland at the Games and we are ready for the challenge. We have strong representation across multiple classes for this Worlds. The riders are ready to deliver their best in 18 races over the course of the 4 days of competition.’’