By Damian Dolan.
When Para-cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy headed to Donegal for a recent family holiday, her bike was as essential a travel companion as her passport. Holiday or not, Crawley-born Dunleavy hit the roads of her father’s native county without fail, in preparation for the forthcoming UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship in Baie-Comeau, Canada, from August 29 to September 1.
She’ll first sharpen her skills at the latest UCI World Cup Para-cycling event in Matane, Canada, (August 23-25) before heading for the world championships. That she heads to both with a medal chance is a testament to her determination as much as it is her ability, as preparations since she recorded two fifth places and a seventh at London 2012 have been far from ideal.
The most significant development saw her Olympic pilot Sandra Fitzgerald quit, leaving Dunlevy to find a new partner. That proved to be no easy task.
Indeed, she only teamed up with her new pilot, Co Carlow’s Anne Dalton, a just week before the World Cup event in Italy in June. It was also Dunleavy’s first international competition since London 2012.
Seventh place in the Time Trial in Italy was a commendable return (they didn’t complete in the Road Race), and the pair followed it up in Spain a week later by coming away with an unexpected, but very welcome, bronze medal in the Time Trial.
“It was a big shock; it was only our second competition so didn’t expect it,” said Dunlevy.
“I didn’t think I’d be getting a Time Trial medal for a couple of years. To get one with Anne was amazing and it shows we could do really well together.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World