Katie-George Dunlevy and pilot Eve McCrystal laid down an all-out effort on Fuji International Speedway over 32 kilometers (19.88 miles) for the tandem’s second consecutive Paralympic gold in the women’s B time trial. It also added to a growing total for Team LGBTQ at these Games.
They won the gold with a time of 47:32.07.
The team of Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall of Great Britain netted silver. Sweden’s Louise Jannering and pilot Anna Svaerdstroem got the bronze.
Dunlevy told RTE Sport that she saw a big performance coming.
“I could feel it before we went,” she said. “I was like ‘we are going to win this’. I wanted it and we wanted to do a good ride and get the best out of ourselves.”
She and McCrystal pushed off from the start line and quickly built a strong lead. By the end of the first circuit around Fuji they held a 9-second advantage according to the time charts, and that advantage grew towards gold.
“We went for it,” McCrystal told RTÉ Sport. “I just had it in my head, ‘I’m not letting this go now’. We just went for it and I think we’re after having the ride of our lives. I can’t believe it.”
After three more circuits, Dunlevy and McCrystal flashed across the Fuji finish line and gave Ireland a winning morning wake-up call, including family gathered around the television. The pair had repeated their effort from Rio.
“We hoped to get a medal and and we hoped to get gold,” Dunlevy said after the winning ride. “To come away and retain our title, which is something we’ve been working for for the last five years, it means the world.”
Dunlevy won silver in the Women’s B 3000-meter Individual Pursuit competition for her first track cycling Paralympic medal in Tokyo three days ago. In the competition she briefly held a world record in qualifying and said afterward, “If someone said to me before that I would get a medal in the pursuit, I would never have thought it in my wildest dreams.”
The dreams, and the reality, were bigger and brighter on the road in the women’s B time trial Tuesday.
With a silver and a gold in hand, they both have one more event on their Paralympic schedule. They get a chance to add another medal to the collection in the Women’s B Road Race back at Fuji September 3.