Dunlevy and Kelly Secure Silver in Ostend

ByEmma Porter |

Reigning World Champions Katie-George Dunlevy and Linda Kelly provided the standout performance at the UCI Para-cycling World Cup in Ostend, Belgium, last weekend.

The pair have proved a force to be reckoned with for the past 12 months and show no sign of slowing down.

Ostend was the first Road World Cup for Irish riders this year. Dunlevy and Kelly got their campaign off to a strong start, finishing as runners-up in the Time Trial on Friday afternoon, less than 10 seconds behind Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl for Great Britain.

Dunlevy and Kelly were one of two Irish bikes to finish inside the top five in the WB Time Trial. An excellent performance from Josephine Healion and Eve McCrystal saw them claim fifth place in the same event, demonstrating the strength within the Irish squad.

Ronan Grimes added to the success of the weekend. He began with a seventh place finish in the MC4 Time Trial on the second day of competition and on Sunday he narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the Road Race. Grimes was part of five-way sprint for the finish, ultimately claiming fourth place.

The World Cup was not only an important step in preparation for the 2024 Paralympic Games but also provided an opportunity for four members of the Cycling Ireland Para-cycling Commission Development Team to compete on the world stage.

The World Cup gave Allister MacSorley (MH4), William Clifford (MC3), Cormac O’Callaghan (MC1) and Ivan Naluswa (MC5) a brilliant opportunity to compete against some of the best riders in the world. The Development Team aims to provide a pathway for aspiring para-cycling athletes to progress through to high-performance.

The weather may have delayed racing for a couple of hours on the second day, but this did not hamper the Irish. Results from the day include the two bikes finishing inside the top five in the WB Time Trial, a top ten for Grimes and a host of top tier performances.

Racing continued over the weekend and Irish athletes added to their earlier success, including Damien Vereker and Mitchell McLaughlin coming sixth in the MB Road Race.

Following the highs from earlier in the competition, Sunday also brought some lows. Burns, competing in the MC2 Road Race, and Dunlevy and Kelly and Healion and McCrystal in the WB Road Race, were unable to finish following crashes in each of their respective races.

Full results are available HERE.

The squad now prepares for the final round of the World Cup which will take place in Maniago, Italy from May 16th – 19th.

Time Trial Results:

  • Declan Slevin – MH3: 24th
  • Allister MacSorley – MH4: 13th
  • Ronan Grimes – MC4: 7th
  • Christopher Burns – MC2: 13th
  • Richael Timothy – WC3: 6th
  • Katie George Dunlevy & Linda Kelly – WB: 2nd
  • Josephine Healion & Eve McCrystal – WB: 5th
  • Damien Vereker & Mitchell McLaughlin – MB: 10th
  • William Clifford – MC3: 17th
  • Cormac O’Callaghan – MC1: 13th
  • Ivan Naluswa – MC5: 30th

Road Race Results:

  • Declan Slevin – MH3: 32nd
  • Allister MacSorley – MH4: 18th
  • Ronan Grimes – MC4: 4th
  • Christopher Burns – MC2: DNF
  • Richael Timothy – WC3: 7th
  • Katie George Dunlevy & Linda Kelly – WB: DNF
  • Josephine Healion & Eve McCrystal – WB: DNF
  • Damien Vereker & Mitchell McLaughlin – MB: 6th
  • William Clifford – MC3: 20th
  • Cormac O’Callaghan – MC1: 11th
  • Ivan Naluswa – MC5: 27th
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