By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda may not be represented at the Caribbean Cycling Junior Championships slated for the Dominican Republic in October.
This was revealed by President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCA), St Clair Williams, who said that presently, there are no junior riders currently meeting the criteria to represent the twin-island state at the annual event.
“October 15, 16 and 17, going back to the Dominican Republic will be the Caribbean Cycling Junior Championships so we are talking about 17 to 18 [in age]. We don’t have any at the moment in Antigua and Barbuda, but the Caribbean will be hosting that. I am not sure if we will be able to send anyone because we don’t have anybody racing in that age group at the moment. In addition to that, we have the UCI [International Cycling Federation] hosting their congress and that is going to be in Belgium on September 25 so that’s another thing the federation is looking at also,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda recently returned from the DR where the country participated in the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) sanctioned Pan American Cycling Championships.
Only one of the four riders, however, managed to complete their event with Jeffery Kelsick crossing the line in the 44th position from amongst 62 competitors in the elite division.
Williams said the federation is pleased with the performances of the cyclists.
“We have four cyclists who participated and every single cyclists, they broke what we can call the Antigua record because never before have we had cyclists averaging 27.4 or 27.5 miles in a 50 miles or a 100 miles race and completing the race so I would say that we did our best. We could not have asked for more from our cyclists and I think it’s a learning experience and we will continue to grow from strength to strength. We just need some more outside competition that our guys can attend and we will continue to develop the sport of cycling in Antigua and Barbuda,” he said.
Antigua’s Conroy Thomas, who also competed in the elite division, did not finish the race after falling victim to a crash just outside the finish.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Gayral and Ghere Coates who both competed in the under-23 division of the Pan American Championships, did not complete the event. According to reports, Gayral was involved in a crash while Coates was forced out due to dehydration.