Ireland’s Eoghan Clifford has claimed gold at the Para-Cycling Road World Championships in South Carolina. 

Clifford, competing in his first major championships, repelled the challenges of Russia’s Sergey Ustinov and Fabio Anobile of Italy in C3 time trial in Greenville.

Speaking after the race, the Galway man said: “The conditions were hot, but not too breezy and I knew early on that I was going well.

“I held back on the first lap and on the second lap I emptied the tank. I knew I had done well, but I wasn’t sure about the podium.

“It seems that I pulled most of my time on the second lap. I could see the other guys suffering on the hills, and it gave me a boost.

“Today was a bit unexpected. I didn’t know where I’d rate. Coming out I felt more confident about the road race, that’s where my experience lies. I have probably only ridden four time trials over the past few years. I just need to recover now and get ready for the road race on Sunday.”

Clifford races again on Sunday in the C3 road race.

Last year’s bronze medallist Colin Lynch had to settle for fifth place in the C2 time trial.

Tthe tandem pairing of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal finished a disappointing sixth in the WB time trial after suffering a puncture, while James Brown and Bryan McCrystal finished in ninth in their first road race together.