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Para cycling

Paracycling: Colin Lynch reviews 2017

Colin Lynch (centre) - winner of MC2 time trial at 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Maniago (ITA)
Colin Lynch (centre) - winner of MC2 time trial at 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Maniago (ITA)

We continue our end-of-year series featuring members of the UCI Athletes’ Commission. Today, Irish para-cyclist Colin Lynch looks back on his year: the highs, the lows and the memorable moments.

Colin Lynch (Ireland), para-cyclist

  • Two-time UCI World Champion (road time trial in 2011 and track 3km pursuit in 2012).
  • Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist in the road time trial

 Personal sporting highlight of my career

Despite (finally) winning a Paralympic medal in Rio 2016, the highlight of my career remains my first UCI World Championship title in the time trial that I won in Denmark in 2011. It was entry into a coveted ‘club.’

The honour of wearing the rainbow bands the following year is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Personal sporting highlight of the year

2017 was a good year for me. With many excellent results, it’s hard to pick out one! But I think defending my National Championships time trial title had to be the highlight.

 Disappointment / bad moment of the year

Finishing 5th place in the UCI World Championships in the time trial was a big disappointment.

After putting in so much hard to work to prepare, and not quite getting it right on the day always hurts.

 "But it does help with motivation for the next year!" 

My biggest surprise of the year

After injury forced me to take several months off at the end of the previous season, I was unsure I would still be able to train and perform at the highest level. But I came back stronger than before! I was surprised that taking so much time off actually helped me to focus and achieve my goals.

 My cycling hero of the year

Peter Sagan. I enjoy watching him race no matter the circumstances but to see him win the UCI World Championships for the third time in a row, in dramatic fashion, was a real thrill as a fan.

Other cycling discipline I would like to try

I would love to give cyclocross a go. I’ve watched it for many years and it appeals to me for many reasons. It reminds me of my younger days when I was into cross-country mountain biking, and it combines elements of road racing, mountain biking and even to some degree, BMX. It looks messy, but also a lot of fun!

My favourite cycling race/competition of the year as a competitor

Colin Lynch - UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Maniago (ITA)

My personal favourite this past year was the UCI World Cup race in Maniago, Italy. It was my first chance to compete against the rider who beat me in the Rio Paralympic Games (and win this time). But more than that – I always love racing in Italy. The people are friendly, the scenery is wonderful and the food is superb. I have never failed to get good results in Italy!

 My favourite cycling race/competition of the year as a spectator

The Giro d’Italia. Again - there is something special about bike racing and Italy. Such a great heritage. And the Giro, as it does most years, did not disappoint. It was a tightly-fought race and it was nice to see a different rider come out on top.

My sporting ambition(s) for 2018

My entire 2018 season will be built around trying to win the time trial UCI World Championship title in Maniago in August. In addition, it’s the start of the qualification period for Tokyo 2020, so it’s important to pick up some good results whenever possible and score valuable qualification points.