By Neto Baptiste
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of regional cyclists that will compete in the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) Invitational Road Race slated for Sunday.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), St Clair Williams, who said the 54-mile event is normally a drawing card for top regional riders looking to test their grit on the country’s roads.
“Because of the protocols and the Covid situation and so forth, the countries that would normally come like Dominica, St Martin, St Lucia, St Vincent, Anguilla and other islands throughout the Caribbean, but we are not seeing those numbers, so we’re going to go with our homegrown riders who have been producing some good numbers over the few races we’ve done for the season,” he said.
Williams, who revealed that the event will take riders across the eastern and south-eastern end of the island, believes the route will offer many challenges to all taking part.
“It’s going to be a testy race on Sunday when all of the cyclists will be out. We are going to be looking at the guys in the elite in both female and male and we’re also looking at the sports class, masters’ class and everybody is ready to go. I think it is going to be one for the ages because they have been looking forward to this race which has been on our calendar for some years now, and we have partnered with the workers union,” he said.
Meanwhile, President of the ABWU Kem Riley, explained that the body is pleased to be associated with the event.
“As a social partner we always give back to the community. We should always look to push out the name of the union and represent employees because most of the members of any [sporting] organisation are also members of the union and so we must support any sporting discipline,” he said.
The race will pedal off from the ABWU headquarters on Newgate Street, head to Blue Waters, Pan Am Base and Sir Vivian Richards stadium to Bethesda via Potworks Dam road. Riders will then head through Hideout, Shirley Heights, Liberta, All Saints, Parham, back around the stadium, towards Hodges Bay, down Friar’s Hill Road, back onto Newgate Street before climaxing at the ABWU headquarters.
Registration for the event is $20 for members and US $20 for non-members and can be done on the morning of the race, starting at 7:45 am.