Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal gear up ahead of Paralympic campaign

The pair spoke to Newstalk Sport's Oisin Langan ahead of their cycling events later today

BY Newstalk 11:40 Friday 9 September 2016, 11:40 9 Sep 2016

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

Ireland's Paralympians got off to a fast start last night with Jason Smyth easing his way into the final of the 100m to defend his title and swimmer James Scully smashing his personal best to earn a sixth place finish in Rio.

A number of Ireland's athletes take to the stage today, two of which are the cycling duo of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal. Ahead of their first event, the Cycling Individual Kilo B Final, Newstalk Sport's Oisin Langan spoke to the pair about trust and performing on a global stage.

"When we first got to the track is was kind of scary but now we're used to it," Katie explained. "We know what to do to get the bike going and when it comes to racing, you talk about the steepness of the track, when you go at full pelt you can really feel the G-force around the bends." 

Eve continued: "I think from day one myself and Katie kind of gelled together. My first introduction to the track was on a tandem, I didn't come from a solo bike so I didn't know any different. I think that really helped me. 

"I don't see it as any different than if I was riding a solo and for Katie, she has to trust me because she has no choice!"

The pair admit they had an instant chemistry which has helped them reach this stage in their careers and have developed a deep understanding of one another over the months of training together.   

"As soon as I got on a bike with Eve three years ago I felt at ease straight away," Katie added. "I just got on with it and trusted her straight away. That trust has built over the years and the intricacies of how we developed that relationship on and off the bike that has been built through the years. But again, straightaway I felt at ease with her."

They take to the Velodrome later today and insist that their training has been key to the progress have made in a relatively short space of time.

"We're well coached and we know exactly what the other person is doing," Eva says. "We know exactly how to perform on the day. The Road Race and the Time Trial are slightly different. We do speak in the Road Race, for me Katie is great in the Road Race despite the fact that she is partially sighted.

"She's very aware of what's going on around her, sometimes I think more than me. We do talk about tactics in the Road Race but in the Time Trial we don't really speak that much. I might give her a cue of what's left. But we're always aware of each other all the time."

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