Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal have defended their second world title at the UCI 2018 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Maniago, Italy today, winning the Women’s B Tandem Road Race in style. They add this to the Time Trial title they defended last Friday.
The Paralympic Champions retained the 81.6km Road Race title they won in South Africa last year. The race consists of 6 laps of a 13.6km circuit.
"It was a great race," McCrystal told Cycling Ireland afterwards, "it was probably one of the best tandem races we have done. It was hard from the start; the brits put the pressure on. The first 5km was hilly and technical – and a few bikes were dropped straight away. It was a really good course – there was everything in it – technical hilly – the course suited us."
The Irish duo were feeling strong throughout and pushed ahead on the fourth lap. "On the fourth lap through that hilly technical section I just saw an opportunity to go," McCrystal added, "but it wasn’t a full attack – it was just pressure on. The others were under pressure so I said let’s go, so we went for it. The Polish got across to us and we lost them then on the hill.
"The two of us just felt really, really good today so we did the rest of it on our own. We had 40km left to do on our own. We never got a big gap until the very last lap – but we knew we were going fast. It was great to come home again and we kept the world champion jersey – it’s great."
Not every day you defend your world title....for some...for @KatieGDunlevy and @evemccrystal they had two of those days this week🌈☘️— Cycling Ireland (@IreCyclingFed) August 5, 2018
On Friday the awesome twosome won the Women's B Tandem Time Trial for the second year running - and today they did the same in the Road Race. pic.twitter.com/y4JGuTcUsb
After winning the Time Trial title on Friday, Dunlevy described how the pressure had come off – "really after the TT we didn’t have that pressure going in to the race – we just wanted to enjoy it. And, of course, we wanted to win it. We had an idea of what we were going to do – but you know sometimes you have to wait and see how the race actually pans out.
"I knew by the third lap that some other bikes were struggling and even though I was struggling – we weren’t under pressure. I believed that we could get away from them.
"On that fourth lap that split apart we could see on the hill that they were struggling and we pushed and got a gap – and we just put our heads down and worked to the line. We didn’t ease up in case something might happen so we kept on the pressure and came in two and a half minutes ahead of the GB bike which is fantastic – it was a great win and we are delighted to take the title."
Elsewhere, in the Men’s B Tandem Time Peter Ryan and Sean Hahessy finished in 9th place while Damien Vereker and Dermot Radford came home in 14th place.
Ronan Grimes was 11th in the Men’s C4 Road Race – finishing in the front group in the sprint for gold. Colin Lynch was 19th in the Men’s C2 Road Race and Declan Slevin was DNF in the Men’s H3 Handcycling Road Race.