Cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy fills us in on the last fortnight, as she prepares for the this summer’s paralympics in Rio
The Track World Championships only come around once a year and this year they took place in Montichiari Italy 17th-20th March. The plan was to fly out early Sunday morning to Verona to meet up with the rest of the squad.
Nearly 14 hours later after missing my flight and then having to fly into Milan I was walking into the team hotel. The buzz and excitement was already kicking in, especially with other countries arriving and sharing the same hotel.
Familiar faces We settled in pretty quickly and over the next couple of days before racing began headed down to the track which was a short ride away to familiarise ourselves with it.
The track was very different to ones I have previously raced on. The shape was more round rather than oval. So the straights were shorter and bends longer.
You always need a few sessions on a track before racing to get the feel of how it runs. It was nice to get back on the track and see all the other countries and familiar faces.
As this is the last track competition before the Rio Paralympics and only 6 months away competition would have moved on and everyone will be stepping up their game.
Racing was tough and the level is exceptionally high. It is hard to digest our result from the 3k pursuit race which is our targeted event as we didn’t manage to medal like we had hoped too.
However, we improved our best time by 3 seconds and have our names down in the record books as we broke the national record in this and the 1k time trial.
The competition was a very valuable learning experience. Seeing where other countries are and that we are in the mix for the medals is good to know moving forwards.
With the personal best in the 3k pursuit we have closed in on the countries at the top, however we have a lot of work to do to get closer and aim for the podium at Rio.
We are transitioning into the road season now. We have a road camp in Mallorca in April and I have a fitness test scheduled at the Irish Institute of Sport.
Our first competition on the road is the Belgium tandem stage race May 5th- 8th. The racing in Belgium will give us a valuable racing block where we can hone our racing skills and fitness together and its the first time this year we will come up against some of our competition that we will have on the road in Rio.