Eve McCrystal has had plenty of glory days in cycling but last weekend’s victory at the National Time Trial Championships in Limerick will go down as one of her best days in the saddle. Eve is probably best known for her remarkable exploits on the international stage where she has won multiple gold medals at the world championships and Paralympics in tandem events as a sighted pilot for blind cyclist Katie George Dunleavy.
However, she has also enjoyed plenty of success riding solo including winning the elite national championships in 2018. However, one race which had eluded her was the national time trial championships where she had captured a couple of silver and three bronze in previous years each time just missing out on gold. According to the Ravensdale native the omission of that national time trial gold medal from her collection was something that had been really bugging her before she put it right last weekend.
“I have always loved the time trial event and I knew I was pretty decent at it so it was really beginning to bug me that I had never managed to win gold in the event. I have come close a few times over the years but there’s some really talented riders in Ireland and they kept on just getting the better of me which was a bit annoying,” laughs Eve.
“I was hopeful coming into the race on Thursday but I knew that I had a big challenge on my hands with Kelly Murphy in the race. I had raced against her a few times during lockdown and generally she was getting the better of me by a few seconds each time. I knew I felt in good shape coming into the race but I felt if I was going to win it would be very tight,” explained Eve.
The Strata 3-VeloRevolution rider clocked a time of 29:01 on the 22.4km course which ended up being a massive 21 seconds better than her main rival Murphy (Storey Racing) who was attempting to win the race for the third year in succession. The margin of victory initially shocked Eve but having had a few days to reflect on her victory she credits her coach for getting her mentally ready for the challenge.
“I was in shock first of all to find out I had won and then in even bigger shock when I saw the margin of victory. But having had a few days to reflect I have to give credit to my coach who got me to the start line in great shape and ready to compete. Everything went perfectly for me on the day and believe me that does not always happen at the top level of sports. I will take a break now for a week to ten days and then the hard work really starts as myself and Katie George start getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics next summer,” stated Eve.
As well as picking up the gold in the national time-trial Eve also won gold in the Masters event, team event and silver in the road race.