Irish paracycling stars all likely to miss World Championships

Posted on: January 11th, 2017

Eoghan Clifford drives the escape in Rio. He rode with great confidence and would have taken a third medal but for a mechanical. But he still came home a hero with gold and bronze around his neck. However, there is unlikely to be an Irish team at the track Worlds (Photo: Sportsfile)

 

A decision by the UCI to give the cycling world just seven weeks notice about the upcoming World Track Paracycling Championships looks set to cost the top Irish riders their chance of medals.

With so little time to prepare, Cycling Ireland has told stickybottle it was highly unlikely any Irish team would be sent to the Worlds in the United States in March.

The news, which is perhaps not unexpected on the part of Cycling Ireland, means those riders who did so well at the Rio Paralympics will not get a chance to go for more medals.

Some of them have won titles and other medals at the championships in previous years.

And having competed so well in Rio, the Irish team would have been highly fancied to take home more silverware from Los Angeles.

In Rio, Katie George Dunlevy, with Eve McCrystal as her sighted pilot, took TT gold and road race silver.

Eoghan Clifford, a road race and TT world champion from two years ago, won TT gold in Rio and took an individual pursuit bronze on the track.

Colin Lynch scored a TT silver in Rio and since then the 46-year-old has set the inaugural paracycling world hour record, of 43.133km.

However, despite that success Cycling Ireland has said the decision by the UCI to give such little notice about the Worlds means an Irish team probably will not be sent.

The UCI announced on Monday that the Paracycling Track World Championships would take place in LA from March 2nd to 5th.

UCI president Brian Cookson said the world governing body was conscious that some riders had yet to return to full-intensity training after Rio.

But he still believed holding the Worlds in March, even at such short notice, was a positive.

“We believe that holding these UCI Paracycling Track World Championships for the first time ever in a post-Paralympic season signifies notable progress and will enable our athletes to benefit from an enriched calendar as the discipline continues to develop,” he said.

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