Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal have won their second gold medal at the UCI 2017 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, winning the WB Tandem Road Race.
In a bunch finish the Irish duo outsprinted Poland to take the coveted World Title, with Greece winning the bronze medal.
Paralympic Champion and double World Champion Katie-George Dunlevy described a tough course with a finish that suited the Irish:
“The hill on the lap made it tough and challenging, this lent itself to slightly negative racing, but that worked for us. The finish suited us perfectly – there was a tight left turn 700m from the line, and the Polish bike flew around the corner first. The gap was big enough, but we were confident and just drove it and passed them.”
With six laps to go, the distance of the race was altered, reducing the laps from fourteen laps to twelve. Pilot of the bike Eve McCrystal explained the change in the dynamic of the race at that point:
“With six laps to go a motorbike came up to us, and we were told that there were four to go. That call changed the dynamic of the race but we stayed calm and agreed that we would just go for it. We knew that we would be able to win it, but you just never know what will happen in a road race.”
While the Irish women have dominated the World Cup season this year – with Dunlevy winning with both McCrystal and Katharine Smyth – the season has had challenges of its own:
“I’ve been dealing with an injury since April, so at times this year it has been touch and go. I’ve had great support from Neill (Cycling Ireland Performance Coach) and the Sport Ireland Services, but it has been a tough year – every hard session has caused me immense pain, so I’m going to take a bit of a break and recover completely.”
McCrystal now switches her focus to An Post Rás na mBan, the premier race on the Irish race calendar taking place in Kilkenny from Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th September.
Women’s WB Tandem Road Race:
Gold Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal (IRL) 2:05:54.
Silver Iwona Podkoscielna and Aleksandra Teclaw (POL) 00:00.
Bronze Eleni Kalatzi and Argyro Milaki (GRE) 00:00.