The Irish para-cycling squad met at the Sport Ireland Institute today, Thursday, December 15th, and were presented with medals won at the Para-cycling Road World Championships in Canada in August.
Athletes Ronan Grimes, Katie-George Dunlevy, Eve McCrystal, Josephine Healion and Linda Kelly (absent due to illness) were presented with their medals by Cycling Ireland vice-president Louise Reilly and Paralympics Ireland vice-president Denis Toomey.
The original UCI medals were lost in transit before the World Championships and athletes were given presentation medals at the time of the championships. The medals were subsequently given to Cycling Ireland, allowing for today’s formal presentation.
Also present was Sport Ireland CEO Dr. Una May, Sport Ireland Institute Director Liam Harbison, Cycling Ireland head coach Neill Delahaye and newly appointed national paracycling coach Jamie Blanchfield.
Sport Ireland CEO Dr. Una May said:
“Sport Ireland are delighted to host the presentation of world championship medals to members of the Irish para-cycling squad at the Sport Ireland Institute today. The squad’s continued success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the athletes and coaches, it was a pleasure to honour their achievements and we’re excited to see this squad continue to succeed at the highest level.”
Paralympics Ireland Vice President Denis Toomey said:
“Our Para-cycling squad have been continually competing at the highest level and their success has been outstanding this year. These medals are just reward for their efforts and, hopefully, as Paris comes even closer into view, they are a sign of more success in the near future.”
Cycling Ireland Vice President Louise Reilly said:
“It’s a pleasure to welcome our Para-cycling squad to the Sport Ireland Institute and present some of the athletes with their World Championships medal. The squad’s success in recent years has been phenomenal and we’re fully behind them in 2023 as attention switches to the Paris Paralympic Games in just under two years.”
Cycling Ireland head coach Neill Delahaye said:
“The Irish para-cycling squad performed strongly across 2022 and thanks to Sport Ireland Institute for a unique opportunity to recognise the achievements of the riders. Irish Para-cycling is in a healthy place heading into 2023 and we’re confident that new national coach Jamie Blanchfield can help us achieve our goals after his recent appointment.”
It’s been another successful year for the Irish Paracycling squad as they claimed medals at both the road and track World Championships in 2022.
Ronan Grimes was crowned European time trial champion in the men’s C4 category in Austria back in May and followed that up with a bronze medal in the Paracycling Road World Championships C4 time trial in Canada in August.
In the same championships, Grimes won his first World Championships gold medal as he took victory in the C4 road race.
He closed out his season in style on track in October as he won a silver medal in the individual pursuit at the Paracycling Track World Championships in Paris.
Grimes’ stellar season has saw him nominated for sportsperson of the year at the RTE Sport Awards on Saturday, December 17th.
Tandem duo Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal were back amongst the medals at the Road World Championships, winning a gold medal as well as silver.
They soloed to victory in the women’s tandem road race, earning their sixth world title, after already claiming a silver medal in the women’s tandem time trial in Baie-Comeau.
Dunlevy and McCrystal have also received a nomination for team of the year at the RTE Sports Awards.
Josephine Healion and Linda Kelly also picked up medals in the women’s tandem road race at the World Championships, earning a bronze medal.
There were also impressive performances throughout 2022 from riders including Richael Timothy, Chris Burns, Damien Vereker, Gary O’Reilly, Martin Gordon and Declan Slevin.