Fourth place finish for Declan Slevin in Ostend
Rosemount’s Declan Slevin produced a brilliant performance to finish in fourth position in the H3 Time Trial at the Paracycling World Cup in Ostend, Belgium last week.
The Paralympian launched his bid to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020 in April with a cycling sportive organised by his local Rosemount cycling club.
Declan, who represented team Ireland at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, is vying for qualify once again and he greatly helped his chances with a fourth place finish over the 18km distance, just 19 seconds off a podium position at the World Cup event.
Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner this week, Declan said he was over the moon with the result.
“In terms of competitors this was the biggest race to date that I have taken part. I was hoping to get a top ten spot so my fourth placed finish surpassed all my expectations,” he explained. “I was less than 20 seconds off a third place finish, so it was a little bittersweet.
“Last week’s race gives me great encouragement and it’s a good indicator that all my hard work in training is paying off. I was competing against some of the best handcyclists in the H3 category in Europe so it now gives me more of a focus to push harder in training.
“My next race takes place in Austria this coming weekend and I’ll be hoping to get on the podium this time around. There’s no reason why I can’t get a top three place, if I perform to the best of my ability.
“The race in Austria won’t be as big as the race in Ostend, so I hope to be competing with the leading pack. We have some momentum behind us now, so I just want to keep that form up and continue to earn points to secure a bike for Team Ireland for Tokyo next year.”