Irish duo take fourth-place finishes in omnium at Paracycling Track World Championships

Ronan Grimes and Richael Timothy impress in Paris on the penultimate day of competition

Irish riders had further notable performances on the penultimate day of the Paracycling Track World Championships in Paris on Saturday, with one new national record and two personal bests being set, as well as several strong placings.

MC4 competitor Ronan Grimes set the fifth-fastest time in the qualifiers of the 1km time-trial, with his 1 minute 9.252 just two tenths of a second off the national record he set at last year’s Paralympic Games. He then went even faster in the final, smashing that time with 1 minute 8.666 seconds.

“It’s taken me years to get to this 1:08 level today,” he said. “I’m delighted to finish on a high.” He explained the ability to go faster than he had earlier in the day. “I think that just shows the endurance and the amount of training we do as a squad to have us fit enough to be able to do our second ride off in the kilo and go quicker.”

Grimes’s performance saw him finish fifth in the kilometre time-trial, the final event in the omnium competition. He finished fourth overall there, just two points adrift of the bronze medal total.


Chris Burns impressed in the MC2 3km individual pursuit, smashing his personal best by eight seconds. It added to the personal bests he set in his other events this week, reflecting his superb form.

The Banbridge rider recorded a time of 3 minutes 50.661 seconds in the individual pursuit, placing ninth. This saw him end the day tied for fifth place in the MC2 omnium competition. Sunday’s scratch race gives him opportunity to finish off the competition in a strong way.

Also in action was Richael Timothy, who finished sixth in the WC3 category individual pursuit. This saw her finish the omnium fourth overall, and also added to her fourth-place finish in the scratch race.

“I think it went well overall,” she said. “I obviously got two fourth places so it’s a little bit hard to take, I suppose, but at the same time I have progressed since last year or the year before so I’m happy enough with that.”

The racing took place in the same velodrome where the Paralympic track events will be held in the 2024 Paralympics. “It’s really good to get to be here before [the Paralympics],” she said. “But as well for me and the athletes that were beating me by a lot, just to get closer to them is what I’m working towards. And hopefully next year I can get closer again.”

“Overall, just to get a few PBs and to know that I am faster than last year is really good.”

The other two riders in action on Saturday were Damien Vereker and Marcin Mizgajski. The tandem duo set a new competition personal best in the individual pursuit with a time of four minute 21.153 seconds, a huge improvement on the time they set the last time they raced together at the 2020 Paracycling Track World Championships.

The time improvement came despite the distraction of a mechanical problem leaving the start gate and the need to restart their effort again.

Ireland’s paracycling track world championship campaign will conclude on Sunday when Burns will contest the scratch race and tandem duo Martin Gordon and Eoin Mullen will compete in the sprint.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling