Cycling champions hint they may decline national selections

Venessa Kelsick (l) and Robert Marsh
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By Neto Baptiste

Two national cycling champions, including veteran Robert Marsh, have said they may not be representing Antigua and Barbuda during the Caribbean Cycling Championships (CCC) now tentatively slated for August 11-15 in the Dominican Republic.

Marsh, who won the Elite Class of the Individual Time Trial in Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation’s National Championships on Saturday, said he has already informed the body of his decision not to travel at this time or at any time during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Definitely not. As long as there is Covid and quarantine and that sort of stuff, I am not leaving the country for no reason at all, but for the last couple of years I’ve called down a bit and I wouldn’t do all of the races [locally]. I would just pick some of them and just go all out. The cycling federation is aware; I’ve told them before, I’ve made it known,” he said. 

The Caribbean championships was originally slated for June 11-13 in Cuba but was then moved to the Dominican Republic with a new date of July 11-13 before being moved to its new date.

One other national champion, Venessa Kelsick, who reigned supreme in the women’s division of the Individual Road Race on Sunday, said her participation hinges on the timing of the Caribbean event.

“Currently, I am back in school until the end of August, so I would not be abandoning that to travel; but yeah, I would gladly represent Antigua if the timing is right for me,” she said.

Generally, the country’s team to the Caribbean Cycling Championships is selected based on performances in the national championships. 

Emmanuel Gayral was the men’s champion in the Individual Road Race held Sunday, while Lindsay Duffy captured the women’s time trial title on Saturday.  

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