SECOND-generation Irish cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy is celebrating after becoming one of the first Irish women to win a World Championship medal.
Partially sighted athlete Dunlevy won a silver medal at Para-cycling road World Championships in Greenville, South Carolina last month where she competed alongside her sighted pilot Eve McCrystal.
The pair were narrowly beaten into second place by Great Britain in a sprint finish.
The duo are the first Irish women to win a World Championships medal.
After the race, Dunlevy told Cycling Ireland: “We’re delighted, it was hard, but we’re over the moon. All the hard work has paid off. After the puncture in the Time Trial on Friday we were really hungry for a medal. Myself and Eve make a great team, the whole squad is great, and we wouldn’t be here without our coach Neill (Delahaye).
“As we got into the race, we felt brilliant, and as it went on we felt better. It’s been a long few years waiting for this, and with Eve we make a great team. I’m really excited about the future.
“After the neutralised section our gear was stuck in the small ring, for the last half lap. But we still just time trialled from the last roundabout, we are good at the long sprint, so we just went for it.
“We have great support here, my family were here to watch us, and it was really nice to get the medal in front of them, after all the support they have given over the years.”
Cycling Ireland reported: “The women’s B road race [on August 31] comprised of 8 laps on a 10.2km circuit. Paralympian Dunlevy paired up with McCrystal this season, and they have been going from strength to strength.
"For the opening laps of the race the Irish women stayed close to the front of the bunch, looking stronger as the race progressed, and as the pace pushed up. With one lap to go, the women’s race had to be neutralised as the men were approaching, bringing everyone to a standstill.
"Once racing again, the Irish pair focused on moving towards the front, despite a minor mechanical, and took a long sprint for the line. Unfortunately the GB tandem lunged passed them at the finish, pipping them for gold.”
Dunleavy told the Irish Post this week that she is delighted with her medal and that gold at 2016 in Rio is the target for herself and McCrystal.