Ireland’s Paralympic champion Eoghan Clifford announced his retirement from international cycling, following a glittering career which has seen him claim Paralympic and World Cup gold medals.

Since his international paracycling debut in 2014, Clifford has been a dominant force in the MC3 category, both on the track and the road.

The Galway-based rider has amassed fifteen podium placings at major event, including a Paralympic title, four World Titles, and six World Cup gold medals.

While Clifford has enjoyed a long illustrious cycling career on the domestic scene, it was 2014 when he was elevated to international fame at the Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, becoming a double World Champion on his first major outing.

The following three years offered more success for the NUIG researcher, including a gold medal at the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio.

"This is the right time to finish," the Galway Bay Cycling Club rider explained, "I’m still going to stay involved with local club stuff, but I’m retiring from National and Paralympic racing.  It’d be hard for me to lose too much fitness, and it wouldn’t be good for me.

"I want to continue to stay on the bike and train as much as I have time for, and stay in good shape.  I will stay in the community, but the time and commitment of racing is too much at the moment."

Training as an elite athlete involves massive commitment, which is ultimately at the heart of Clifford’s decision to retire.

"Focusing on Rio involved a lot of travel to both training and competition on the track and the road. There was a lot of training and a lot of travel, and my biggest battle was time juggling. And now I have two children under three, I want to spend more time with my family.

"Before Rio I had a lot of back problems, and some days I couldn’t lift my little daughter, but that has eased off quite a bit, and it’s great having more time with my family."