DISASTER struck for Irish cyclist Eoghan Clifford at the Paralympics today in the 70km Men’s C1-3 Road Race as a mechanical failure cost him the chance of a third medal.
Clifford was in a group of five riders that had broken clear of the peloton and was holding his own before his chain slipped 200m from home, scuppering his chances of competing in a sprint finish for a medal.
After the first lap Clifford was in a group of six – later reduced to five at the 47km mark as Eduardo Santas Asensio of Spain fell away – and looked in serious contention to secure a podium place in an event he entered as one of the top seeds.
Clifford and Fabio Anobile of Italy were setting the pace throughout the final lap before disaster struck.
The Limerick man ultimately came fifth, 10 seconds behind the leading four who finished within a second of each other.
German Steffan Warias took gold, Kris Bosmans of Belgium took silver and Anobile sealed bronze.
“I did a good race," said Clifford afterwards. "I felt good coming into the sprint; just unfortunately with 200m to go my chain came off.
"That’s bike racing really. Today I felt very good. I did everything I could do. These things happen, it’s disappointing."
Ireland’s Colin Lynch finished in 24th spot, 11:45 behind the leader.
Earlier in the Games, Clifford won a gold in the C3 Time Trial and bronze in the C3 Individual Pursuit, while Lynch secured silver in the C2 Time Trial.