Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal claimed their second gold medal at the UCI 2017 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, winning the WB Tandem Road Race.
In a bunch finish the Irish duo out-sprinted Poland to take the coveted world title, with Greece rounding off the podium as they took the bronze.
With six laps to go, the distance of the race was altered, reducing the laps from fourteen laps to twelve.
Pilot of the bike Eve McCrystal described how that late change affected the Irish duo: "With six laps to go a motorbike came up to us, and we were told that there were four to go.
"That call changed the dynamic of the race but we stayed calm and agreed that we would just go for it. We knew that we would be able to win it, but you just never know what will happen in a road race."
Dunlevy described a tough course with a finish that suited the Irish duo: "The hill on the lap made it tough and challenging, this lent itself to slightly negative racing, but that worked for us," she said.
"The finish suited us perfectly – there was a tight left turn 700m from the line, and the Polish bike flew around the corner first. The gap was big enough, but we were confident and just drove it and passed them."
For Dunlevy, the two gold medals at these World Championships have been a culmination of everything she has worked for since claiming gold in the Rio Paralympics.
"This is a massive thing," she said. "It’s everything I’ve worked for since Rio, but it’s also four years of hard work and we have come so close to a win in the road race before. Road racing is my favourite part, I get such a buzz from it. We worked incredibly hard for this gold medal."
Elsewhere at the Championships newcomer Ronan Grimes had the race of his life in the MC4 category, finishing in 8th place, just 32 seconds outside gold. Andrew Nicholson was also competing in the category, finishing 12th in hotly contested race.
Colin Lynch was 11th in the MC2 Road Race this morning, finishing with Swiss rider Roger Bollinger.
Also in action were the two male tandems of Peter Ryan and Sean Hahessy and Damien Vereker piloted by Dermot Radford. Both tandems were forced out of the race with mechanical issues.
The handcycling Team Relay saw the Irish team of Ciara Staunton, Declan Slevin and Seamus Wall finishing in 9th place.