By Carlena Knight
Three junior cyclists hope to qualify for the upcoming Junior Pan American Track Cycling Championships.
Junior Sportsman nominee Emannuel Gayral, Ghere Coates and the lone female rider Chasondre Tonge were all chosen by the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF) to compete at the upcoming Caribbean Cycling Championships in the hopes of qualifying for the event.
The Junior Pan Am event was originally slated for May 31 to June 6 in Mexico but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has now been slated for November in Cali, Colombia.
President of the ABCF Saint Claire Williams explained that the Caribbean Championships is basically the only event the junior cyclists will compete in in order to qualify.
A new date has not been set for the regional event which was originally slated for June 11 to 13 in Cuba. It has now been moved to the Dominican Republic.
Williams said the added time does however play in the favour of some of the less experienced riders like Tonge.
“We continue to increase what she is doing as she has only ridden about eight to nine races in Antigua so far. She has been in constant training, even during the lockdown, since the original date was announced last year, but with the postponement that gives us some additional time which would work in her favour,” Williams said.
Regarding the selection of the senior team to compete at the Caribbean Championships, Williams explained that they have not been able to do so as a new date has not yet been finalised.
He admitted that there is a small pool to choose from but he is hopeful that they will able to travel with a full team.
“The field is not that great. I think we have a maximum of five to six riders. We have the reigning road champion Colin Deblanc, Jyme Bridges, Sean Weathered, Jeffrey Kelsick and Conroy Thomas and these are the guys who have been participating and pushing the flag of Antigua and Barbuda in the Elite category for the most part.
“We are hoping to carry at least five guys and I am hoping that if we can get the funding, we can carry a full team,” he added.