Dunlevy and McCrystal Battle to Gain Valuable Ranking Points


The third and final UCI Para-cycling World Cup took place in Maniago, Italy from Thursday to Sunday. The World Cup marked the final event in the qualification window for gaining UCI points ahead of the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris this summer.

Racing was due to get underway on Thursday but was delayed by a day due to extreme weather. This meant Friday was jampacked with Time Trial action.

Dunlevy and McCrystal put in an excellent performance to finish second in the WB Time Trial on Friday. On Sunday, the pair competed in the WB Road Race. The race got off to a good start with Dunlevy and McCrystal active throughout the early phase of the race ultimately breaking away with the British pairing of Sophie Unwinn and Jenny Holl gaining some three minutes on the rest of the race.

With just two laps to go the pair crashed, knowing the importance of a strong finish and gaining valuable ranking points, the pair battled on securing fourth place at the end. On arrival to the finish, it was determined upon medical review that Dunlevy had sustained a broken collarbone.

Following on from his strong performance in Ostend at the beginning of the month, Ronan Grimes finished sixth in both the Men’s C4 Time Trial and Road Race.

Sadly, Chris Burns crashed in the opening phases of the MC2 race and under further review he was found to have broken his collarbone. The male endurance tandem pairing of Damien Vereker and Mitchell McLaughlin continued to excite, animating the race early on, whilst in a main group of seven in the latter stages of the race the pairing unfortunately suffered an untimely puncture which saw their chances of a result disappear.

Cycling Ireland National Para-cycling Coach, Jamie Blanchfield said: “Maniago represented the last step in our Paralympic Qualifying process. In short, we had a week of highs and lows, Katie-George and Eve put in an excellent performance to finish second in the time trial and our male and female tandems animated both their respective races.

Unfortunately, we come away from the week with both Katie-George and Chris Burns suffering fractured collarbones, both will now need to reset and get healthy for the remainder of the season. It is a blow, but the resilience amongst this team continues to impress me and I am confident they will be back to full health in no time at all.

In the coming weeks we will know where we stand in terms of qualification and will plan and prepare from there, resetting our focus to our primary goal of the last four years, the Paralympic Games in Paris.”

Time Trial Results:

Chris Burns – MC2 – 13th

Ronan Grimes – MC4 – 6th

Richael Timothy – WC3 – 9th

Declan Slevin – MH3 – 20th

Damien Vereker and Mitchell McLaughlin – WB – 12th

Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal – WB – 2nd

Road Race Results:

Chris Burns – MC2 – DNF

Ronan Grimes – MC4 – 6th

Richael Timothy – WC3 – 6th

Declan Slevin – MH3 – 27th

Damien Vereker and Mitchell McLaughlin – WB – 14th

Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal – WB – 4th

Development Team

An additional three athletes were also competing for the Cycling Ireland Para-cycling Commission Development. The Development Team offers up and coming athletes an opportunity to compete on the world stage, gaining invaluable experience.

Time Trial Results:

William Clifford – MC3 – 15th

Cormac O’Callaghan – MC1 – 14th

Allister MacSorley – MH4 – 13th

Road Race Results:

William Clifford – MC3 – 23rd

Cormac O’Callaghan – MC1 – 11th

Allister MacSorley – MH4 – 13th

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