Katie George Dunlevy and Linda Kelly are world champions after they stormed to gold in the Women’s B Time Trial at the Para-cycling World Championships in Dumfries on Thursday, August 10th.
In a successful day for Ireland at the UCI Cycling World Championships, the tandem duos victory was underlined by several top ten performances – including in the Para-cycling Road and Road World Championships.
But the day belonged to Dunlevy and Kelly as they won their first rainbow jersey as a pairing, with the win an incredible fourth world title for Dunlevy in the time trial and a first for Kelly.
Dunlevy and Kelly finished over one minute ahead of their nearest competitors in a dominant performance. The Irish duo led at the first intermediate time check by 20 seconds, and they further extended their lead throughout to take a comfortable win.
Their time of 37:18.22 saw them finish with +1:01.51 to spare over Great Britain in second place as the pair look forward to Saturday’s road race.
Katie George Dunlevy said, “I’m over the moon. It was a really hard race, I think I blew a bit halfway, but I just tried to give it my all. Linda did a fantastic job, it’s her first title, I’m delighted for her – she’s put so much hard work in. To come away with another rainbow jersey is unbelievable. Every medal means so much, it’s just that hard work but also to give back to the team behind us.
“There’s no pressure (in the road race). We’ve got that gold there already, we’re just going to go into the road race and make it a hard race. There’s no pressure, (we’ll) enjoy it and looking forward to it.”
Linda Kelly said, “We knew that the course suited both of us. It’s just a course that you would have more momentum on if you select the right gears and take the right lines. I’m absolutely thrilled with my first title.”
Lucy Benezet Minns has finished 4th in the Junior Women’s Time Trial after a stellar performance in her first Road World Championships.
Lining out in Thursday’s Time Trial, Benezet Minns and Aine Doherty represented Ireland in a talented field of the world’s best.
A fast 13.4km route that featured a steep final climb to the gates of Stirling Castle, riders left it all on the road in their pursuit of the rainbow jersey.
Setting a blistering early pace, Benezet Minns passed the intermediate time check in fourth place with still a number of riders to follow.
And the first-year junior rider pushed hard on the final climb to hold on to that fourth place provisionally as some of the big favourites approached. But Benezet Minns’ time proved a difficult one for many to best and as the final riders crossed the line, a strong performance was underlined by an impressive result. Her time of 20:07.77 was +36.26 seconds from gold and just over seven seconds away from a place on the podium.
Benezet Minns reflected on a good performance, “It was pretty good. I went out pretty hard, I was a bit worried I had over cooked myself! I think the course suited me with the kicker at the end as well. I thought I had gone out too hard but in hindsight I did pretty good job pacing, and I had nothing left but that’s the way you want to finish.”
Still with limited experience competing in top level time trials, Lucy has shown she’s more than capable of riding against the best in the world.
She added, “I’ve only done one UCI Time Trial so far this year and that was on a course that didn’t suit me, and it was my first time ever riding that bike so, but yeah it’s really good and hopefully I can come back next year and to get a better result which would be great.”
Lucy Benezet Minns earns a 4th place finish in the Junior Women’s Time Trial (Image: SWPix)
Aine Doherty was also competing today in the Junior Women’s Individual Time Trial place spending some time in the hotseat as the provisional leader in the standings as she set an early benchmark.
Ultimately finishing in 33rd place, the result represents a promising performance in her first World Championships.
Aine Doherty said, “It was a tough course, but I gave it everything today so I’m happy enough with my performance.”
Later in the afternoon, Kelly Murphy represented Ireland in a stacked Women’s Elite Time Trial field, taking on a 36.2km course featuring the ever-brutal climb to Stirling Castle.
Murphy put in a solid performance to finish 7th provisionally at her time of finishing and 30th in the final results.
Kelly Murphy said, “Time Trials are always hard! You give as much as you’ve got and try and measure yourself right until the end, but this one was particularly unique in that in the end there was a kilometre with a lot of cobbles, crowds and very steep. It was a kilometre too long!
“Definitely (happy), it’s the World Championships and there’s 90 of us on the start list. Even to come in at the halfway mark you’re doing a good job. You realise the world’s a really big place when you turn up to events like these. To come at least half-way is really good and I’m really happy.”
In the Para-cycling Road World Championships, William Clifford was the first rider down the ramp this morning for Ireland competing in the MC3 Individual Time Trial.
Clifford completed the 16.9km course in a time of 24:23.09, just a minute and a half down on gold medal winner Matthias Schindler of Germany placing 14th overall, a positive result for his time competing at the World Championships. Chris Burns also finished in 14th place in the Individual Time Trial competing in the MC2 category.
Fresh from winning two bronze medals on the track, Richael Timothy placed 7th in the WC3 Individual Time Trial.
Unfortunately, Cormac O’Callaghan crashed during the MC1 Individual Time Trial and as a result has withdrawn from the road race on Saturday. He is doing okay now and is being well looked after by the medical team. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Elsewhere, Men’s B duo Damien Vereker and Mitchell McLaughlin recorded a top ten finish in the Time Trial as they placed in 9th.
Ronan Grimes put in a solid performance in the MC4 Individual Time Trial and left it all out there on the course to finish in 6th place. The Athenry man covered the course in 38:07.86 to finish +2:15.01 off the eventual winner.
Ronan Grimes said, “I couldn’t have done a whole lot more I don’t think, so I have to be happy with 6th. A lot of strong lads ahead of me so I gave everything I could and that’s just the result on the day.
“It’s a really good course, it’s like racing at home. A lot of heavy roads, bumpy corners, tight turn, s a bit of everything on it. So a real sporting course so I think you know it’s an honest result today, I don’t think you had a fluky result so everybody ahead of me deserved to be there.
“I’m feeling relatively strong anyways so I think, really looking forward to Saturday to defend the title.”
Chris Dawson also competed in the Elite Men’s Cross-country Short Track at Glentross Forest, finishing in 32nd place among a stellar field.
The Belfast rider battled well in the final laps as he moved up several places ahead of some of his close rivals.
Results – Thursday, 10th August
- Men C3 Time Trial: William Clifford – 14th
- Men C2 Time Trial: Chris Burns – 14th
- Men C1 Time Trial: Cormac O’Callaghan – DNF
- Women C3 Time Trial: Richael Timothy – 7th
- Men B Time Trial: Damien Vereker & Mitchell McLaughlin – 9th
- Men C4 Time Trial: Ronan Grimes – 6th
- Women B Time Trial: Katie George Dunlevy & Linda Kelly – 1st
- Women Junior Time Trial: 11:26 Aine Doherty (33rd), 11:52 Lucy Bénézet Minns (4th)
- 14:39 Women Elite: Time Trial: Kelly Murphy – 30th
17:45 Men Elite Short Track Finals: Chris Dawson – 32nd