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Wall Finishes 12th in World Championship Road Race Debut

02/09/2017
Wall Finishes 12th in World Championship Road Race Debut

Ireland’s Handcyclists had mixed fortunes on the first day of road racing at the UCI 2017 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa today. Declan Slevin finished eighteenth in the MH3 race, Ciara Staunton was second in the WH2 race, and Wexford man Seamus Wall recorded his highest world level result to date, finishing 12th in the MH4 60.7km road race.

 
Speaking after his road race Wall was delighted with his performance. Relatively new to cycling, the former discus thrower and shot putter has shown consistent improvement over the past twelve months:


“I thoroughly enjoyed it out there. I am three years racing competitively, and in the last few months made a few changes to my bike set up and to my training, and this really helped today. This is my first world championship, and I knew it would be at a different level to the world cups, but I knew that I was ready to rise to the challenge.”


The road race was 10 laps of a 6km hilly circuit, and gutsy performance from Wall saw him achieve his highest world level finishing result to date:


“I stayed with the front bunch for as long as possible, and really dug deep. I figured that if it’s hurting me, it’s hurting someone else. When the bunch broke up I stayed with another guy and we raced together. When I finished I thought I was 14th, but then found out I was 12th, and am really pleased with that. It just shows you should always keep going and pushing on. The standard has been really high in the World Cups this year where I was finishing in the twenties. I’m really happy with today’s performance.”


Wall is part of a strong community of cyclists in Wexford, competing for Barrow Wheelers, and describes a whirlwind few years in handcycling:


“In three years I have switched from short sharp efforts to an endurance sport, and have dropped over five stone in doing so. I initially bought a bike to get back in shape, but immediately got the competitive bug. I first started looking at cycling in 2012, and I was inspired and influenced by Mark Rohan when I saw what he could do. Unfortunately, I’ve to travel overseas for handcycling road races, but I compete in as many Time Trials as I can – and am currently leading the Invacare Paracycling Time Trial League.”


The past week has motivated and inspired Wall: “I’m buzzing after today, and I have hunger for what will come in the next few years. I’m still only in my cycling infancy, so am aiming for 2020.”


Tomorrow is the final day of racing for the Irish Paracycling Team, with the three tandems competing on the same circuit for the Road Races. Fresh from winning the World Title in the Time Trial, Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal are targeting another podium. Colin Lynch, Andrew Nicholson and Ronan Grimes will also be flying the flag for Ireland on the solo bikes.


The Para-cycling Road World Championships run from the 31st August – 3rd September, with Irish riders competing on each day.



RESULTS:



Women’s WH2 30.4km Road Race:


Gold
Carmen Koedood (NED) 1:34:54

2nd Ciara Staunton (IRL) -1 lap


Men’s MH3 60.7km Road Race:


Gold
David Franek (FRA) 1:42:19

Silver Paolo Cecchetto (ITA) 1:42:19

Bronze Heinz Frei (SUI) 1:42:22

18th Declan Slevin (IRL)


Men’s MH4 60.7km Road Race:


Gold
Jetze Plat (NED) 1:42:47

Silver Rafal Wilk (POL) 1:42:49

Bronze Bernd Jeffre (GER) 1:46:00

12th Seamus Wall (IRL)


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