Having established himself in the Irish National Elite Paracycling squad over the last few years, with multiple National Championship titles in 2020, 2021 and early this year when he again won the 1km TT, 3km TT and flying 200m titles, Banbridge CC’s Chris Burns has become Ireland’s go-to man in the MC2 category.
11th place in the 2021 World Championships demonstrated that a top 10 in the world was an achievable goal, and so it was of no surprise to see that the 2022 World Championships were a key goal in Burns’ 2022 plans.
The Championships got off to a flying start, quite literally, with the Flying 220m TT. Setting a new personal best time and Irish National Record at 12.078 showed Chris’ high-end speed was on point. He followed this up the following day in the 1km TT with another National Record, recording 1:14:383, taking a significant two seconds off the previous record. This placed him in 5th place overall and ensured qualification through to the finals.
Next up was the 3km Individual Pursuit. Once again Burns’ previous PB markers were surpassed, this time by a whopping 8 seconds to finish 9th place in the event. This placed him 4th overall in the MC2 Omnium competition with only the Scratch Race left to contend with on the final day. A crash in that event, in which he got caught up, was not in the plans but he quickly brushed himself down and was straight back into the bunch. Another 9th place finish would see him drop slightly in the overall standings to 6th, but confirmed a significant rise in his stock as an International athlete and his place among the World’s best.
Speaking after the event, Chris said “It was touch and go at stages in the scratch race. It started off well. I came down in a crash and maybe I should’ve composed myself a bit more and waited for the five laps and then went back up, but I jumped back up. It wasn’t the result I was hoping for but it’s still a top 10 in the scratch race, I can’t really complain.”
With 3 PB’s and 2 Irish National Records it has been Chris most successful international competition to date, which he was clearly delighted with; “It’s been an unbelievable week to be honest with you. I’ve surprised myself and it’s just wonderful.”