Scotland welcomed the very first edition of the UCI Cycling World Championships to its doorstep, with 11 jam-packed days of competition, seeing over 2,600 athletes compete across 13 different Championships in an action-packed series of events.
Team Ireland, with over 50 athletes, including Dean Harvey, Megan Armitage, and Katie George Dunlevy, made a strong presence amidst the tough competition. Read on to discover their impressive achievements, flying the flag for Team Ireland!
The first of its kind
Described as the first event of its kind, some of the world’s greatest riders from over 120 countries came together to compete, with 13 separate World Championships coming under one umbrella in this inaugural extravaganza.
Uniting both cyclists and para-cyclists, the Championships included a multitude of disciplines across 11 days of competition. These disciplines included road, track, mountain biking, BMX, trials and indoor cycling, against the stunning backdrop of rural and urban Scotland and some of the country’s top cycling facilities, including the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and Glasgow BMX Centre.
The when, where and who
All in all, Ireland won eight medals, including two golds and a silver, making it a successful 11 days for the team. A familiar name led the charge, as now eight-time world champion Katie George Dunlevy claimed time trial and road race gold, with pilot Linda Kelly. On the track, her storied partnership with Eve McCrystal delivered once more too, with a bronze in the tandem pair.
Not to be outdone, Ronan Grimes also returned with three medals to show for his efforts – a stunning silver in the road race to go alongside bronze from the scratch and individual pursuit. Richael Timothy, meanwhile, collected a pair of bronze medals in the scratch and omnium events.
It wasn’t just the podium finishes to get excited about, either. Our representatives in the women’s team pursuit – Alice Sharpe, Emily Kay, Kelly Murphy and Lara Gillespie – secured 9th position in the qualifying round, just falling short of advancing to the next stage. Nevertheless, this performance keeps them on a promising path toward qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics, as the top 10 ranked nations secure spots for the Games.
In the Elite Women’s Road Race which incorporated Under 23s, the 154km course saw Lara Gillespie, Megan Armitage and Alice Sharpe fly the flag. All three riders unfortunately found themselves caught out after a split in the peloton, but nevertheless Gillespie crossed the line in 68th place, (Under 23 ranking was an impressive 14th place) closely followed by Armitage in 79th place.
The medal table
Across the Championships, host nation Great Britain topped the overall medals table, with a total of 100 medals, 47 golds across both cycling and para-cycling. This includes golds for Thomas Pidcock in the MTB Cross Country Men’s Elite Olympic event and Bethany Shriever in the BMX Racing Women’s Elite.
Having picked up valuable qualification points, as well as snagging 16th in the para-cycling medals table, all eyes are now on Paris 2024 for Team Ireland – and there could be plenty to look forward to if these Championships were anything to go by!
For more information on the UCI Cycling World Championships 2023, head to the website for everything you need to know!
The future is bright, so we’ve taken a look at the ones to watch who are tipped to make waves for Team Ireland in 2023 and beyond!