By Neto Baptiste
Cyclists across Antigua will compete in their first road race of the 2021 domestic season on Sunday when the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF) hosts its Southern Loop Road Race.
The event, which will see riders complete close to 60 miles on the roads through Bethesda, English Harbour, Liberta, All Saints and other communities, will be the first real test for those riders hoping to represent the twin-island state at this year’s Caribbean Cycling Championships.
Head of the cycling federation, St. Clair Williams said the athletes are quite excited ahead of the race.
“We haven’t done any races over 40 miles yet and the guys said that if they are to represent Antigua well, they need something to push them to the limit, so we are going on a road race, the first road race of the season. Most of what we have been doing are circuit races and time trials in between so now, we are going to do a road race and that road race is going to start from immediately in front of the cannon where the shooting range is at Potworks Dam,” he said.
The cycling boss assured that the federation will continue to employ all the necessary safety measure and will also be going the extra mile this time around given the veracity of the event.
“By now, everybody should know that we have the hand-washing stations, the temperature checks and a station now, also where you will give your name, number and all contacts just in the event of anything and we have all the marshals should be coming out. We have launched a campaign where we are going out to seek some marshals because for a road race, you’re going to need additional personnel to keep everyone safe on the road and especially on the junctions where the traffic is heavy,” Williams said.
A number of the country’s top riders are in preparation mode for the Caribbean Cycling Championships slated for the Dominican Republic. The event, which should have taken place in October last year, was initially moved to March 2021 and then to June because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Recently, top female cyclist Tamiko Butler revealed that it’s almost a certainty she will miss the postponed Caribbean championships tentatively slated for June