Katie-George Dunlevy and Linda Kelly completed the double at the Para-Cycling Road World Championships on Saturday, August 12th, soloing to victory in the WB Road Race.
Just two days after they claimed the WB Time Trial World title, Dunlevy and Kelly were in the rainbow jersey again after victory in the road race.
The win is Dunlevy's eighth World Championships title, her second title with pilot Linda Kelly.
In the same race, Josephine Healion and Eve McCrystal finished fourth in the sprint for bronze, getting pipped on the line in a positive performance.
It was hard fought solo win for Dunlevy and Kelly, with the pair losing time due to a puncture midway through the race.
An early attack from one of the Polish pairs saw them gain over a minute on the chasing group, which included both Irish tandems. However, as they completed their second lap, they realised they had a slow puncture and lost nearly forty seconds on the chasing group with the subsequent wheel change.
The Irish pair pushed on to try close the forty second gap to the chasing group. It wasn’t long before they rejoined the group and decided to go in search of their so far elusive rivals.
No other bike was able to stick the attack as Dunlevy and Kelly tried to bridge across to the Polish tandem.
And showing just how strong they are, Dunlevy and Kelly had the legs to attack the Polish bike, going clear on the penultimate lap and effectively time trialling their way to an impressive solo victory.
Katie-George Dunlevy said:
“Unbelievable! I mean I can’t believe we’ve done that. It was quite a hard race, hard roads, really wet and we were out the back a little bit and just the cornering, you know we were just struggling at times and then I realised actually on the second lap we did have a puncture, a slow puncture so then I ended up thinking ‘okay it’s not my legs’ it was actually the bike was heavy.”
“We came in, we pulled in and we got a change of the wheel on the second lap coming into the third lap and we were then forty seconds back behind the main group. Poland at this stage had gone up the road and then we had to, just when the wheel was on, we just time trialled, a nice steady effort. Every time there was a drag we just pushed on the drag.”
“We bridged across to the main group and we attacked. GB tried to close us down and they couldn’t and the gap just got bigger and we just kept pushing, we were so determined we didn’t give up, we kept our heads up and then we bridged across to Poland in the second last lap and attacked them and got a gap and just TT to the line.”
Linda Kelly was delighted to take her second title world title as pilot for Dunlevy.
Linda Kelly said:
“We used our strengths as time triallers as well and just went for it on the last lap and we were able to enjoy the finish then as well. I said to Katie ‘just celebrate here now, enjoy this moment.’ So, yeah thrilled, second gold this week, delighted.”
The Polish tandem managed to hold their lead over the chasers to finish in second place, meaning just the bronze was up for grabs for the chasing group, which included Josepine Healion and Eve McCrystal. In the sprint for third, Healion and McCrystal were pipped on the line finishing in fourth place.
The last Irish rider in action at the Championships was Richael Timothy competing in the WC3 road race. Timothy had a very strong ride in the lead group for much of the race before her saddled slipped in the penultimate lap - making conditions much more difficult on an already challenging circuit.
Timothy did extremely well to stick with lead group despite the circumstances, ultimately finishing in 9th place.
Results – Saturday, 12th August
Women B Road Race: Katie George Dunlevy & Linda Kelly (1st) |Josephine Healion & Eve McCrystal (4th)
Women C3 Road Race: Richael Timothy - 9th