McCrystal: “I’m in a good place; better than this time last year”

Posted on: June 29th, 2016

Eve McCrystal forces the pace in the break during last Sunday’s national championships in Kilcullen. The ASEA-Wheelworx rider finished runner-up to Lydia Boylan (Team WNT) but was more than happy with the result (Picture: Sean Rowe)


By Brian Canty

Eve McCrystal was one of the stand-out performers at the national championships last week, the Dundalk woman taking home two silver medals.

The ASEA-Wheelworx rider was runner-up to Anna Turvey (Tyneside Vagabonds CC) in the elite time-trial and second to Lydia Boylan (Team WNT) in the road race.

And after initially being disappointed with her race against the clock on Thursday, she’s more than content on reflection.

“After the time-trial I just wasn’t happy with my performance, not necessarily the placing,” she said.

“But when I walked away and chatted to my coach I realised it was the first time I was on the TT bike (solo) so I suppose it’s just the competitor in me,” she added of her desire to win the TT title.

McCrystal, a member of the Garda Síochána by profession, took a 12-month break from work last September to chase qualification for the Paralympics as a sighted pilot.

And having qualified through top results in various events with her partner Katie George-Dunlevy, she’s put all her eggs in that basket this year.

“Obviously my training at the minute is all focused towards Rio but it was a personal goal for me to do the nationals,” she said.

“I’m in a good place – and a better place than this time last year and that’s all you can ask for.”

Going into the road race after finishing fourth last year she had a score to settle – and went about it with her usual no-nonsense style of racing.

“I was really looking forward to it, I didn’t go in as nervous as I thought I’d be,” she of Sunday’s contest in the rain in Kilcullen.

“It was my first road race since Rás na mBan last year; I’ve been on the tandem a lot but it was my first solo bike race.

“It was a tough course, it suited me and I did try and get away on the last lap up the hill.

“But the girls are good and they took me back so I said it’d come to a sprint.”

And when it did, there was only one winner in defending champion Lydia (Boylan –Team WNT).

“She is faster than me over 200 metres so I was very pleased with coming second in a very close finish.”

McCrystal, a mother of two young children, will take a few days down-time now after which it’s back to training.

She has a World Cup event a few weeks with the Paralympic squad which is followed by a training camp in Portugal.