Cycling - Disappointment for Slevin on Opening Day of Paracycling World Championships

Ireland had three riders in action on day one of the UCI 2017 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermartizburg, South Africa which run from the 31st August to the 3rd September. Rio Paralympians Declan Slevin and Ciara Staunton were joined by Wexford man Seamus Wall in the handcycling Time Trials, in his World Championship debut.

Staunton finished second behind the Netherland’s Carmen Koedood, in a small field in the WH2 category, with Wall finishing fourteenth in the MH4 category and Slevin nineteenth.

Westmeath’s Slevin was disappointed with his performance, having just recovered from illness a week earlier:

“I was unfortunate to pick up a bad UTI (urinary tract infection); I was in hospital for a few days, and only got out the day before I travelled here. I’ve been pushing fluids into me the last few days, but it’s only when I put the body under pressure today that I calved. I just felt the power draining out of me as I was doing the laps.”

Competing in the MH3 category, Slevin has had a good season, so was disappointed to be below par in a tough field:

“I’ve had better days. I’ve had a pretty good season, and had been hoping for a top ten today. Looking at the power I was putting out in training a top ten was within my grasps. But the competition that I’m in is so hard that if you’re not 110%, you suffer. A minute can mean a lot to you out there. My power was way down on what it normally is.”

Slevin has already turned his attention to the Road Race next Saturday:

“Hopefully I will recover tomorrow and give it a good go on Saturday. I’ll give it my best shot. I know from previous results that I’m better than today but you just have to brush it off and put it down as a bad day.”

Tomorrow is a big day for the Irish team, with six bikes in action, including Paralympic Champions WB Tandem Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal, as well as Paralympic Silver Medallist in MC2 Colin Lynch. Dunlevy and McCrystal won the World Cup overall this season, and Lynch was unbeaten in the Time Trials.

The Time Trial course in South Africa will present a hillier course profile than the World Cups and Paralympic Games, promising exciting and close racing. Unfortunately, MC3 Paralympic Champion Eoghan Clifford was forced to retire from competing due to a back injury.

Competing in the MB Tandem Time Trials are Peter Ryan with pilot Sean Hahessy, and Damien Vereker with Dermot Radford. Ronan Grimes (MC4) and Andrew Nicholson (MC4) will be making their World Championship debut.

The Para-cycling Road World Championships runs from the 31st August – 3rd September, with Irish riders competing on each day. The first riders in competition will be Declan Slevin, Ciara Staunton and Seamus Wall in the Handcycling Time Trials.

RESULTS:

 

Women’s H2 Time Trial:

 

Gold Carmen Koedood  (NED) 51.27.92

2nd Ciara Staunton (IRL) 1.10.24.36

 

Men’s H3 Time Trial:

 

Gold Paolo Cecchetto (ITA) 39.30.59

Silver Heinz Frei (SUI) 39.55.97

Bronze Charles Moreau (CAN) 40.22.98

14th Seamus Wall (IRL) 49.09.44

 

Men’s H4 Time Trial:

 

Gold Jetze Plat (NED) 36.39.14

Silver Rafal Wilk (POL) 38.27.81

Bronze Krystian Giera (POL) 39.04.52

 

19th Declan Slevin (IRL) 47.44.10