Ronan Grimes sealed a second bronze medal of the Para-cycling World Championships with a brilliant performance in the Men’s C4 scratch race on Sunday, August 6th.
The Galway rider took an excellent win in his final event of the championships on the track and now heads into next week’s Para-cycling Road World Championships in good form and high in confidence.
On a mixed day for Ireland at the UCI Cycling World Championships, the Elite Men’s Road Race saw six Irish riders battle hard in a brutal route around Scotland.
In a tough scratch race, three riders pulled away and gained a lap early on in the race. One rider got dropped which meant the bronze medal was all to ride for. There was a crash with less than 2km to go which saw the race neutralised.
With the race restarted, Grimes drew upon his experience to stay in a good position and launched an attack with five laps to go and held off his challengers to earn a bronze medal, adding to his individual pursuit bronze win on Thursday, August 3rd.
Speaking after the race, a delighted Grimes said, “It is (a positive Para-cycling Track World Championships), I won’t be doing too many World Championships so just going to these championships and having these experiences is really what it’s all about. To win a medal is extra special, I’m really delighted and to come away with two medals from the track campaign is the icing on the cake.”
Grimes switches his attention to the Para-cycling Road World Championships next week as he competes in the time trial – which he won bronze in 2022 – before defending his world title in the road race.
Men’s Road Race
In the Elite Men’s Road Race, six Irish riders took on a brutal 272km course – beginning in Edinburgh before taking in ten 14km laps around a technical Glasgow City Centre circuit.
An Ireland team of Ben Healy, Sam Bennett, Ryan Mullen, Rory Townsend, Dillon Corkery and Cormac McGeough took to the start line on Sunday morning.
A brutal race saw just 51 of the 194 starters cross the line as the six riders representing Ireland did not finish.
Townsend established himself in the day’s early breakaway, spending roughly 150km at the front of the race alongside eight other riders before the main group of favourites made their catch and contested the win over the final 80km.
As the race meandered across the Scottish countryside towards Glasgow, a protest blocked the peloton’s road and the race was neutralised for almost one hour before a restart close to the bottom of the day’s big climb.
Following the climb, riders descended into Glasgow to join the circuit for just under the final 150km.
After the opening lap of the circuit, McGeough had lost contact with the peloton while Bennett suffered a mechanical issue and a bike change which also took him out of the running.
Mullen and Corkery also lost contact in the early laps and bowed out of the race.
Meanwhile, with Townsend sitting in a breakaway that would ultimately be caught by the main group of contenders inside the final 80km, Healy initially rode well alongside the big favourites.
But on the fourth lap, he missed a split and was unable to get back in touch with the main group as he chased with others behind.
At the end of the following lap, Townsend suffered a puncture that saw him lose his place in the breakaway and following the rear of the fast approaching main group, suffered a dropped chain while on the steep Montrose Street climb.
He passed the finish line into lap six +2:26 behind the breakaway of the day following the two issues, which took their toll as he failed to finish the following lap.
Speaking about the road race today, Cycling Ireland High Performance Director, Iain Dyer said, “Naturally we’re disappointed with the outcome today. Nobody signs up for a day like that, but that’s the way it is. The team had a bit of bad luck, which changed our prospects during the race. I think looking at the result, you can see it’s just a tough day out for everyone.
“Rory getting into the break was exactly what was planned, and he turned in perhaps our best performance of the race. We had the back end of the race planned for Ben, but it unfortunately wasn’t his day on a tough finishing circuit.
“We had some misfortune with punctures and Sam suffering a mechanical issue and a bike change. Ryan also punctured early in the race and Rory’s day in the break came to an end on the circuit due to a puncture.
“After today we need to dust ourselves down and look forward to more opportunities in the week ahead.”
Rory Townsend said, “(It was) Not as long of a day as I would have liked I guess. I’m happy to be out there, representing the jersey is pretty special. It’s pretty close to a home championships for the Irish team and there were a lot of shouts out there (from supporters) which was nice. It’s a shame that I punctured late on and that kind of put paid to our day.
“I had a mechanical in the break and that put me out the back of the bunch. It looked like I could get back into the bunch again in a chase group of five and then turned onto the steep climb (Montrose Street) and dropped my chain. It was pretty much the worst place to drop a chain and it took me a while to get going again.”
In the Para-cycling World Championships, Martin Gordon and Eoin Mullen competed in the tandem sprint earlier today. In the 200m time trial this morning, they recorded the 5th quickest time which saw them qualify for the quarter finals for the first of the match sprints.
They faced off against Australia, who won the first two rounds and therefore progressing to the semi-finals. Gordon and Mullen will race tomorrow against USA for 5th place.
William Clifford concluded his Para-Cycling Track World Championship campaign today competing in the MC3 200m time trial. This event forms part of the Omnium which ranks riders based on their results in four events: 1km Time Trial, Scratch race, 200m Time Trial and Individual Pursuit. After the four events, Clifford finished 7th on 98 points in the Omnium, a really positive result for his first competition on track.
RESULTS 6th August, Sunday
- Men C3 200m Flying Start Time Trial – Final (Omnium): William Clifford – 9th
- Men B Sprint – knocked out in the Quarter Finals (will race tomorrow in the 5-6 final)
- Men C4 Scratch Race – Final (Omnium): Ronan Grimes – 3rd
Women Elite Elimination Race: Emily Kay – 22nd
Men Elite Road Race: Rory Townsend, Sam Bennett, Dillon Corkery, Ben Healy, Cormac McGeough, Ryan Mullen – All riders DNF