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‘Sixth World Championship gold is as special as first’ – Dunlevy and McCrystal’s glory caps great weekend for Irish para-cycling

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Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal take gold at the World Paracycling Championships

Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal take gold at the World Paracycling Championships

Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal take gold at the World Paracycling Championships

A sixth world championship gold medal for Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal in the tandem road race capped an impressive weekend for the Irish team at the Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Canada.

Paralympic champions Dunlevy and McCrystal were also joined on the podium by new Irish duo Josephine Healion and Linda Kelly, who won bronze after competing for the first time internationally at the World Cup event last weekend.

Dunlevy and McCrystal soled to victory after launching their attack on the climb with one and a half laps to go to add gold to the silver medal they won in the time trial event on Friday night.

“I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s our sixth World Championship medal and it’s as special as the first and you know we lost the titles last year so it’s great to bring it back to Ireland.” Dunlevy said.

McCrystal added: “We got away mid-race with the British team; we’ve been beaten before in a sprint with them so we just couldn’t take them to the line. We discussed tactics and we went on the climb of the second last lap, and we rode to the rainbow jersey which was great.”

For Healion and Kelly it came down to a sprint between Ireland and Poland for the bronze medal. Just 15 metres from the finish line the timing chain came off on the Irish bike, but they had done enough to see them cross the finish line just ahead of Poland.

Earlier yesterday, Ronan Grimes took a superb gold medal in the men’s C4 road race. Fresh from winning bronze in the time trial on Friday, Grimes proved strongest in the five-rider sprint for the finish adding another title to his list of achievements this year.

"Every year I’ve been getting a tiny bit closer, but I never knew I would actually make that top step in a road race and thinking how that would actually happen," said Grimes, who won gold in the European time trial and competed in the Rás earlier this year.

"Today everything seemed to go right. It was a hard race and a long sprint to the line which played into my hands perfectly. If things had been a bit more cagey today I mightn’t have had that kick, but I think when it’s a hard, honest race, it played to my strengths.”

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