Paralympic Cycling Preview 

The much anticipated Tokyo Paralympic Games is just around the corner. A team of 29 athletes will represent Ireland, seven of which make up Team Ireland’s strong para-cycling squad for the games. Team Ireland’s para-cycling squad will compete on the track and on the road in Tokyo and includes individual and tandem athletes. 

The opening ceremony gets underway on Tuesday, 24th August with the sporting events kicking off the following day and will run until the 5th of September. 

How to Watch 

Coverage of the Paralympics is brought to you by RTÉ on television and on the RTÉ Player and Channel 4. There will be live coverage on RTÉ between 10am and 12:30 every day. At 7pm each evening on RTÉ2 there will be a highlights show aired between 20:00 to 21:30 which will round-up all the action with a particular focus on the Irish athletes.


The track events will get underway on the opening day of competition. The track events will take place at the Izu Velodrome which is located about 100km from the Olympic village. 

Track Cycling Events:

500m Time Trial: This sprint event sees riders begin from a standing start and compete against the clock over two laps of the track. The rider with the fastest time is the winner. 

1km Time Trial (Kilo): Like the 500m TT, riders compete against the clock completing 4 laps of the track in the fastest time. 

3km (women) and 4km (men) Individual Pursuit: In the qualify rounds each rider attempts to set the fastest time in order to progress in the competition. The top four go on to race for a medal (1st vs 2nd, 3rd vs 4th). In the medal rounds the riders start on opposite sides of the track and they win if they catch their opponent or complete the distance in the fastest time. 

Track Cycling Schedule (Irish Time)

Wednesday, 25th August 

Women’s C1-C3 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualifying: Richael Timothy, 2:00am to 2:42am

Thursday, 26th August 

Women’s B 1km Time Trial: Katie-George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal, 2:00am to 3am

Men’ C4-C5 1km Time Trial: Ronan Grimes, 6:00am to 7:12am

Friday, 27th August 

Women’s C1-C3 500m Time Trial: Richael Timothy, 2:00am to 2:39am

Men’s C4 4000m Individual Pursuit Qualifying: Ronan Grimes, 2:39am to 3:14am

Saturday, 28th August 

Women’s B 3km Individual Pursuit Qualifying: Katie-George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal, 2:00am to 2:45am

Men’s B 1km Time Trial: Martin Gordon & Eamonn Byrne, 3:21am to 4:09am


The road cycling events will take place in Oyama which incorporates the Fuji International Speedway and the foothill of Mount Fuji. The Road Race is a mass start event. The first rider in each event to cross the finish line is the winner. The Time Trial will see riders start at fixed intervals and the rider who completes the course in the fastest time is the winner. 

Road Schedule (Irish Time)

Tuesday, 31st August 

Women’s C1-3 Time Trial: Richael Timothy, 12:00 to 3:30am 

Men’s H5 Time Trial: Gary O'Reilly, 12:00 to 3:30am

Men’s C4 Time Trial: Ronan Grimes, 5:30 am to 8:15am

Women’s B Time Trial: Katie-George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal, 5:30 am to 8:15am

Wednesday, 1st September 

Men’s H5 Road Race: Gary O'Reilly, 1:30am to 3:38am

Friday, 3rd September

Men’s C4-5 Road Race: Ronan Grimes, 1:30am to 3:42am

Women’s C1-C3 Road Race: Richael Timothy,1:35am to 2:47am

Women’s B Road Race: Katie-George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal5:00am to 7:30am

Men's B Road Race: Martin Gordon & Eamonn Byrne5:18am to 7:45am

Team Ireland Riders 

Katie-George Dunlevy 

Age: 39 (DOB 26/11/1981)

Classification: WB

Event: Track - 1km Time Trial, 3km Pursuit. Road - Time Trial and Road Race.

County: Crawley (UK) | Donegal

Club: Donegal Bay Cycling Club

Major Results: Gold in the Time Trial and Silver in the Road Race at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Five-time World Champions. 

Eve McCrystal (Pilot)

Age: 43 (DOB 28/07/1978)

Classification: WB

Event: Track - 1km Time Trial, 3km Pursuit. Road - Time Trial and Road Race.

County: Louth

Club: Bellurgan Wheelers

Major Results: Gold in the Time Trial and Silver in the Road Race at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Five-time World Champions. 

This tandem pairing and reigning Paralympic champions in the Time Trial are Ireland’s most successful para-cyclists ever. The endurance athletes made their debut in 2014 and have since made their mark on the international stage. 

Martin Gordon

Age: 36 (DOB 18/03/1985)

Classification: MB

Event: Track - 1km Time Trial. Road - Road Race

County: Sligo

Club: Black Line

Major Results: Silver in the Sprint at the Track World Cup in 2018. 

Eamonn Byrne (Pilot)

Age: 37 (DOB 13/03/1984).

Classification: MB

Event: Track - 1km Time Trial. Road - Road Race

County: Dublin

Club: Black Line

Major Results: Silver in the Sprint at the Track World Cup in 2018. 

Martin and Eamonn became a tandem pair after the Rio Paralympics and first competed for Ireland in 2017. Their last competition was the 2020 World Track Championships where they were fifth in the Sprint race and 10th in the 1km Time Trial. With no World Championships in 2021 they secured their place in Tokyo by delivering strong Performances during selection trials on an Irish Team Track Camp in March 2021.

Richael Timothy

Age: 26 (DOB: 27/04/1995)

Classification: WC3

Event: Track - 3km Individual Pursuit, 500m Time Trial. Road - Time Trial and Road Race.

County: Roscommon

Club: Castlerea CC

Major Results: Bronze at the 2020 Para Cycling Track Championships in the Scratch Race. 

Richael played soccer for Ireland at underage level and Gaelic football for Roscommon until she acquired a brain injury. It left her with just 30 per cent power in her left leg but she has made remarkably quick progress since taking up cycling. Richael made her Irish debut in 2017 and won her first international medal at the Manchester Para-Cycling International in December 2019, winning silver in the Scratch race and knocking 17 seconds off her Pursuit PB. In 2020 she won bronze in the Scratch race at the Paracycling Track World Championships.

Ronan Grimes

Age:32 (DOB 24/12/1988)

Classification: MC4

Event: Track - 1km Time Trial, 4000m Individual Pursuit. Road - Time Trial and Road Race

County: Galway

Club: Orwell Wheelers.

Major Results: Bronze at the Paracycling Road World Championships on the track in 2020. Bronze at the 2021 Paracycling Road World Championships in the Road Race. 

Ronan was born with a club left foot and initially took up cycling for transport during his student days. He joined Orwell Wheelers in 2014 but only discovered para-cycling in 2016 and made his Irish debut at the World Road Championships in South Africa in 2017. Ronan is an Endurance rider and is targeting the 4km Pursuit & Road Time Trial in particular.

Gary O’Reilly

Age: 28 (DOB 10/05/1993)

Classification: MH5

Event: Road - Time Trial and Road Race. 

County: Laois

Cycling Club: Laois CC.

Major Results: Bronze at the 2021 Paracycling Road World Championships in the Time Trial, fourth in the Road Race.  

Gary broke his back in a work-place accident in 2014. Getting fit through cycling has helped him progress to using crutches now, only using wheelchair for longer distances and he has made remarkably quick progress in international handcycling. After meeting Irish teammate Declan Slevin by chance at a basketball game, Declan led him towards handcycling and started competing in the National League in 2017. 


T 1-2 – (Tricycle) Denotes athletes who cannot ride a bicycle due to balance issues and compete on a tricycle. There are two categories (T1 and T2) depending on the level of disability.

C 1-5 – (Cycling) Denotes athletes riding a bicycle who have lost a limb or lost significant use of a limb. They can compete with prosthetic limbs. C1 cyclists have most severe neurological dysfunction but less lower limb disability. C2 have a disability in one leg but can pedal with both (including prostheses) while C3 riders usually pedal with one leg.

B – (Tandem) Denotes athletes with a visual impairment, riding in a tandem pair. A sighted pilot steers the cycle from the front and the visually impaired rider (known as the stoker) competes at the rear. 

H 1-5 – (Hand Cycle) Denotes athletes without full use of their lower limbs who use a hand bike. There are four functional classes within hand cycling. H1-4 athletes compete in a lying position whereas H5 compete in a kneeling position.