Ronan Grimes of Scott Orwell Wheelers had an exceptional first World Para-cycling Championships in Brazil last weekend, achieving three top ten finishes despite Ireland not having an indoor velodrome on which he can train.
Grimes rides with the Wheelers, a fast-growing Dublin club – competes in the C4 category for people with lower limb impairments. The 29-year-old grabbed his top-ten finishes in the category over 1000 metres (ninth), the 4km individual pursuit (eighth) and the MC4-5 scratch race (eighth again).
The Wheelers rider actually came through in third in the C4 category in the latter race, but missed out on a medal, as in that particular contest medals are awarded only to the category winners.
The Scott Orwell rider was largely pleased with his results, though he’s already talking about improvement at future events, having got a taste of the elite-level field:
“The standard of riders in the top ten today was very high, with most having medalled at world championships before. Going into it I thought I might have gone a couple of seconds faster, but perhaps got my pacing slightly off. Still, the results from the pursuit and the kilo have left me with some good benchmarks to work on and improve on over the next season,” Grimes said after the final race.
He’d earlier admitted his own inexperience in celebrating his ninth place in the 1km race, cherishing the experience: “The time of 1.11 is something I would have grabbed at before the race, so I have to be happy with that, and it’s a top ten too,” he said.
“I have a lot of positives to take from it, and a lot to learn too. I kind of pulled a bit too early at the gate so I lost a bit of momentum at the start of race. When it is just four laps it is over before you know it, so it was all a kind of blur until I heard that last bell.”
“The track isn’t something I have a whole lot of experience in,” he concluded. “The nerves were setting in an hour or so beforehand. The hour went by very quickly, and I was up on the boards before I knew it.”