All photos (or otherwise indicated) and info courtesy of Cycling Ireland
The much anticipated Tokyo Paralympic Games are just around the corner. A team of 29 athletes will represent Ireland, seven of which make up Team Ireland’s strong paralympic-cycling squad for the games. Team Ireland’s paralympic squad will compete on the track and on the road in Tokyo and includes individual and tandem athletes. The opening ceremony gets underway on Tuesday, 24th August with the sporting events kicking off the following day and will run until the 5th of September.
How to Watch
Coverage of the Paralympics is brought to you by RTÉ on television and on the RTÉ Player and Channel 4. There will be live coverage on RTÉ between 10 am and 12:30 every day. At 7 pm each evening on RTÉ2 there will be a highlights show aired between 20:00 to 21:30 which will round up all the action with a particular focus on the Irish athletes.
Track schedule: Wednesday, 25th August
Women’s C1-C3 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualifying: 2:00 am to 2:42 am
Thursday, 26th August
Women’s B 1km Time Trial: 2:00 am to 3 am
Men’ C4-C5 1km Time Trial: 6:00am to 7:12am
Friday, 27th August
Women’s C1-C3 500m Time Trial: 2:00am to 2:39am
Men’s C4 4000m Individual Pursuit Qualifying: 2:39 am to 3:14 am
Saturday, 28th August
Women’s B 3km Individual Pursuit Qualifying: 2:00 am to 2:45 am
Men’s B 1km Time Trial: 3:21am to 4:09am
Road Schedule (Irish Time)
Tuesday, 31st August
Women’s C1-3 Time Trial: 12:00 to 3:30 am
Men’s H5 Time Trial: 12:00 to 3:30 am
Men’s C4 Time Trial: 5:30 am to 8:15 am
Men’s B Time Trial: 5:30 am to 8:15 am
Women’s B Time Trial: 5:30 am to 8:15 am
Wednesday, 1st September
Men’s H5 Road Race: 1:30 am to 3:38 am
Friday, 3rd September
Men’s C4-5 Road Race: 1:30am to 3:42am
Women’s C1-C3 Road Race: 1:35 am to 2:47 am
Women’s B Road Race: 5:00 am to 7:30 am
Thanks to a collaboration between Cycling Ireland, Paralympics Ireland, Eindhoven University of Technology, NUI Galway, Ansys, and KU Leuven, Ireland’s Tokyo-bound para-cycling squad can race with confidence. The engineers at the Eindhoven University of Technology and NUI Galway work with many of the world’s top professional World Tour teams and have extensive knowledge of aerodynamics and equipment choice. Their wind tunnel optimization has made a difference for countless athletes, helping them realize their dreams of winning some of the biggest bike races in the world. Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Bert Blocken commented;
“Working with great champions and great people is why we like our job. By wind tunnel testing and computer simulations, we try to be a small piece of the puzzle leading to Paracycling success”.
Katie-George Dunlevy Age: 39 (DOB 26/11/1981) Classification: WB Event: Track – 1km Time Trial, 3km Pursuit. Road-Time Trial and Road Race. County: Crawley (UK) | Donegal Club: Donegal Bay Cycling Club Major Results: Gold in the Time Trial and Silver in the Road Race at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Five-time World Champions.
Eve McCrystal (Pilot) Age: 43 (DOB 28/07/1978) Classification: WB Event: Track – 1km Time Trial, 3km Pursuit. Road-Time Trial and Road Race. County: Louth Club: Bellurgan Wheelers. Major Results: Gold in the Time Trial and Silver in the Road Race at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Five-time World Champions. This tandem pairing and reigning Paralympic champions in the Time Trial are Ireland’s most successful para-cyclists ever. The endurance athletes made their debut in 2014 and have since made their mark on the international stage.
Martin Gordon Age: 36 (DOB 18/03/1985) Classification: MB Event: Track – 1km Time Trial. Road – Time Trial, County: Sligo, Club: Black Line, Major Results: Silver in the sprint at the Track World Cup in 2018.
Eamonn Byrne (Pilot) Age: 37 (DOB 13/03/1984). Classification: MB, Event: Track – 1km Time Trial. Road – Time Trial, County: Dublin, Club: Black Line, Major Results: Silver in the sprint at the Track World Cup in 2018. Martin and Eamonn became a tandem pair after the Rio Paralympics and first competed for Ireland in 2017. Their last competition was the 2020 World Track Championships where they were fifth in the Sprint race and 10th in the 1km Time Trial. With no World Championships in 2021, they secured their place in Tokyo by delivering strong Performances during selection trials on an Irish Team Track Camp in March 2021.
Richael Timothy, Age: 26 (DOB: 27/04/1995) Classification: WC3, Event: Track – 3km Individual Pursuit, 500m Time Trial. Road-Time Trial and Road Race, County: Roscommon, Club: Castlerea CC, Major Results: Bronze at the 2020 Para-Cycling Track Championships in the Scratch Race. Richael played soccer for Ireland at underage level and Gaelic football for Roscommon until she acquired a brain injury. It left her with just 30 percent power in her left leg but she has made remarkably quick progress since taking up cycling. Richael made her Irish debut in 2017 and won her first international medal at the Manchester Para-Cycling International in December 2019, winning silver in the Scratch race and knocking 17 seconds off her Pursuit PB. In 2020 she won bronze in the Scratch race at the Paracycling Track World Championships.
Ronan Grimes, Age:32 (DOB 24/12/1988), Classification: MC4, Event: Track – 1km Time Trial, 4000m Individual Pursuit. Road – Time Trial and Road Race, County: Galway, Club: Orwell Wheelers. Major Results: Bronze at the Paracycling Road World Championships on the track in 2020. Bronze at the 2021 Paracycling Road World Championships in the Road Race. Ronan was born with a club left foot and initially took up cycling for transport during his student days. He joined Orwell Wheelers in 2014 but only discovered para-cycling in 2016 and made his Irish debut at the World Road Championships in South Africa in 2017. Ronan is an Endurance rider and is targeting the 4km Pursuit & Road Time Trial in particular.#
Gary O’Reilly, Age: 28 (DOB 10/05/1993), Classification: MH5, Event: Road – Time Trial and Road Race, County: Laois, Cycling Club: Laois CC. Major Results: Bronze at the 2021 Paracycling Road World Championships in the Time Trial, fourth in the Road Race. Gary broke his back in a workplace accident in 2014. Getting fit through cycling has helped him progress to using crutches now, only using a wheelchair for longer distances and he has made remarkably quick progress in international hand-cycling. After meeting Irish teammate Declan Slevin by chance at a basketball game, Declan led him towards hand-cycling and started competing in the National League in 2017.