NUI Galway Lecturer Eoghan Clifford during the men's C3 Road Race, where he finished first and won a gold medal with a time of 1:47:46. Picture credit: Jean Baptiste Benavent / SPORTSFILE.
Sep 01 2014 Posted: 16:32 IST

NUI Galway academic, Dr Eoghan Clifford has stormed to his second World Title winning the Men’s C3 Road Race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, South Carolina in the USA yesterday.

The Men’s C3 Road Race was seven laps of a 10.2km course and the NUI Galway Lecturer in Civil Engineering pushed ahead with three laps to go, winning by a margin of almost two minutes.

This is a sensational World Championship debut for the rider who won gold in the MC3 Time Trial on Friday.

Speaking after the Men’s C3 Road Race, Dr Clifford said: “I can’t believe it. I had planned to not show in the first few laps, but it was very explosive, and I was struggling pretty bad, so hung in towards the back. I felt that as they tired and lost the explosiveness, I stayed the same. At the start/finish area with three laps to go, I got about 20-30 metres in the technical section, and put my head down to see what would happen. I am the kind of rider that if I can get a gap I can hold it, and they would have to commit to a chase to catch me, I didn’t want it to come to a sprint. When I got up to two minutes ahead, I knew I had it.”

Dr Clifford added a special note of thanks to his fellow teammates: “I would like to thank the rest of the Irish team and management here. They made it really easy for me; the other squad members have so much experience, and were really helpful.”

Para-cycling has been officially administered by the UCI since an agreement to transfer governance of the discipline from the International Paralympic Committee was signed in February 2007. This discipline is divided into road and track races for a total of seven events.

The competitions comprise four groups of handicaps (blind and visually impaired riders, people with cerebral palsy, locomotor disabilities and handcycling) and a total of 14 functional categories for men and women in all the age categories defined by the UCI. Riders are placed in the appropriate category in the light of their functional capacity.

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