Richael gears up in Portugal ahead of Tokyo adventure!

 ‘I’m going well and aiming to peak for the Tokyo games’

Ballymoe Para-Cyclist, Richael Timothy, has been gearing up for the Tokyo Games in Portugal ahead of her first event – the 3K Track Pursuit – next Wednesday (25th).

Speaking to the Roscommon People from her training camp in Portugal recently, the former Roscommon footballer says she is ready to peak in Tokyo.

“In terms of where I am, it’s difficult to know because I haven’t seen the other girls race in a while…you just go off your power numbers and the times you’re putting out on the track and on the road. The Tokyo Road Race and Time Trial are actually very hilly so there might be specialised cyclists, who prefer hills, but anything can happen in a road race so you can’t anticipate too much,” she said.

“We went fourteen months without getting onto a track so every time I’m on it now I’m trying to go faster. Conditions on the track are quite different and, as we’ve seen from the Olympics, it’s running pretty fast, which means everyone’s doing really fast times. It really comes down to your power numbers because all tracks are different.

“I’m going well and aiming to peak for the Tokyo games”.

Following a successful training camp in Portugal, Richael flew to Tokyo to acclimatise ahead of her opening event next week.

“We had access to the velodrome in Portugal so you were either getting a session in in the morning or a session in the evening and then you’re out on the road as well. You get up in the morning and it’s eat, cycle, nap and then eat, cycle, nap again in rotation,” she said.

“We flew to Japan to stay in our host city of Matsuda for ten days. We are using that to acclimatise. We won’t have access to a track so it’s just going to be road work, acclimatisation and then taper off ahead of the games”.

While the level of training and competition to reach the Paralympic Games has been gruelling, the journey to Tokyo itself was not without its challenges.

“We don’t go into the Paralympic Village because the cycling is so far away. We’ll go to where we are based for the track; Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka,” Richael said.

“It’s hectic! I suppose the travel is the most stressful part in that you have bike boxes and so much equipment to bring in comparison to a swimmer for example, who might only have one bag,” she said.

Richael takes part in the 3km Individual Pursuit Qualifying next Wednesday (August 25th).