By Neto Baptiste
More cyclists out of Antigua and Barbuda could soon be exposed to track or velodrome cycling.
This is the hope of President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), St Clair Williams, who said his interest in the event peaked following the participation of cyclist Jyme Bridges Jr in the points and scratch track race at the recently ended Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
“We saw Jyme Bridges, which we have never seen another cyclist in a couple of decades do to represent Antigua and Barbuda, and that is in track racing. It was an interesting one so there are lots of takeaways we have from that and we’re looking forward to see if we could start a track part of cycling in Antigua and Barbuda. I’d have to sit down and discuss with some of the elders in the sport who have done track while representing Antigua and to see how we could bridge that gap from a couple of decades ago to today’s track cycling,” he said.
Acknowledging that there are no velodromes in Antigua and Barbuda, Williams said the aim would be to get as many cyclists as possible on programmes in regional countries with UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) funded velodromes.
“Yes, you will need a track for the fine-tuning of what you’re doing but you can train on the road with some of the cyclists here who would have done track before. Right now, the UCI is investing into Trinidad with their track programme. That is one of the places we could try and get some of our cyclists [who] show some affinity or some interest in track to go on maybe a three, four, or five months’ sting to get in some track work,” he said.
Bridges, who was the country’s lone cyclist at the Commonwealth Games after US-based Conor Delanbanque was a no-show, registered a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the road race held August 7 while he registered a DNS (Did Not Start) for the individual time trial held August 4.