By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), St. Clair Williams, has promised that the country will be prepared to compete in this year’s Caribbean Cycling Championships (CCC) slated for June 11-13 in Cuba.
Williams, who said it is still too early to decide which cyclists and how many will represent the twin-island state, revealed that a number of factors could impact the make-up of the team, including athletes and or officials opting out of travel due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Closer to the race, we are going to start to narrow down the prospects around May going into June and by the end of May we should know who will be going. In addition to that, the amount of guys we can afford to take over to Cuba as well — because money is not sticking around waiting for us to just write a cheque and say ‘okay, 10 persons and we’re there’. So, we have to take into consideration how we can raise funding to take the guys over to Cuba to participate in the Caribbean Cycling Championships,” he said.
The cycling boss, however, gave assurances that efforts are being made to ensure the safety of all selected and willing to attend the championships.
“I was in conversation with the president [José Rodriguez] of COPACI [The Pan American Cycling Confederation] about three weeks ago when we had a congress and all we need to get over to Cuba and to enter Cuba would be a PCR [Polymerase chain reaction] test within 48 to 72 hours upon arriving and also, they are willing to offer us the test as well when we are leaving down there [Cuba] for free when we get to the venue,” Williams said.
As for the possible make-up of the national cycling team, Williams said a number of riders are currently active, to include Jyme Bridges Jr and US-based rider Conor Delanbanque.
There are however doubts surrounding top female rider, Tamiko Butler.
“We normally track our athletes on Strava and we haven’t seen much activity from Tamiko either and there has been no direct communication with the executive or the federation to say what her plans are for 2021, but we still leave the door open for all our cyclists — whether they are based here in Antigua or overseas — to reach out to us and let us know what they are doing and how we could include them in what the federation is doing,” he said.
The cycling federation is set to host a circuit race on the roads surrounding the Pam Am Base located in Coolidge.