Dunlevy and McCrystal spearhead Irish Paracycling challenge in Emmen
Ronan Grimes keen to follow up on positive performances earlier this year
Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal won the road race and time trial in both 2017 and 2018. Photograph: Getty Images.
By Shane Stokes
Defending champions Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal will spearhead the Cycling Ireland squad at the UCI Paracycling road world championships, which begin in Emmen, the Netherlands, on Thursday. The tandem pairing are the obvious standouts from the 11 rider squad thanks to their incredible victories in the road race and time trial in both 2017 and 2018.
However there are a number of other ambitious athletes who will head to the championships, including MC4 rider Ronan Grimes.
The Galwegian was born with a club foot and while he started dabbling in competitive cycling in 2013, it took a couple more years before he realised that he was eligible to compete as a paracycling athlete. He has made solid progress since that debut, and earlier this year he took a superb silver medal in the MC4 scratch race at the paracycling world track championships.
Grimes was also fifth in the individual pursuit, just 0.101 seconds off a time which would have entitled him to a bronze medal ride-off, and eighth in the one kilometre time trial.
More recently, the 30-year-old took bronze at the Paracycling road World Cup round held in Canada. He continued his world championship build-up with a fine 20 minutes 32.78 seconds in the Thomas White Memorial 10-mile time-trial on September 1st in Warrenpoint.
‘Form is there’
“It is the fastest I have ever done for a ten mile time trial,” he told the Irish Times, “and probably my second-fastest too, because we did the time trial twice on the day. It was good to see those times.
“With the female tandem [Dunlevy and McCrystal recorded the fastest time on the day], you have a good judge of where you are going into the road world championships. You can kind of base yourself off of their times, really . . . it gives you a good indication of where you are. So the form is there. It is all ready for the world championships.”
He, Dunlevy and McCrystal are joined on the squad by Declan Slevin (MH3 category), Chris Burns (MC2), Gary O’Reilly (MH5), the pairings of Damien Vereker and Paul Forristal plus Peter Ryan and Sean Hahessy (MB tandem), and Rachael Timothy (WC3 category).