We Select The Team: Cycling Federation Boss Defends Selections For Commonwealth Games

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), St Clair Williams. (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), St Clair Williams, has defended the body’s omission of veteran cyclist Sean Weathered from a two-man team set to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the 2022 Commonwealth Games from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, UK.

Williams said that although Weathered competed in a high number of races this year, the association took into consideration the quality of his wins.

“The level of performance that the Commonwealth Games requires is a very high level and when we look at that and analysed and we see Sean Weathered in the races that he won, he was riding against persons who are just coming back into the sport after a five-year hiatus against some persons who were just transitioning into cycling. There were some veterans who were just coming back who are 50 years and over and he won those races. But when we [stacked] him up against a youngster that his team represents who was brought over from Dominica to Antigua, that was the first race we saw him against somebody who is actually doing proper training, and the youngster just rode away and finished the race ahead of him,” he said.

Weathered demanded answers during a recent interview on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show and questioned his non-selection by the body’s executive.

The 45-year-old veteran cyclist suggested that the move was personal given his outspoken nature during meetings and in other settings, but according to Williams, the body’s aim is to give younger riders an opportunity to get their feet wet.

“We want to see development in cycling. We want to be able to send somebody to represent the country at games where we’re asking somebody to cover a cost of £12,000 to £15,000, and if the person does not reach the top, then there is still time for that person to come back, do the necessary training and then represent us again. Most of the time, you’re not going to get there on the first try but if you go again you should see some level of improvement and that is what we want to see and that is our function,” he said. 

Admitting there is no set criteria for selection and or a selection committee outside of the executive, Williams maintains that the body would have made the right decision.

“At the end of the day, the executive acts as the board to choose the team to travel and not only at the Commonwealth Games but at any event that we attend as a team. So, we had a meeting and made a decision last week Tuesday which was immediately after the nationals and we came up with this team,” he said. 

Reigning national champion Jyme Bridges Jr and overseas-based rider Conor Delanbanque make up the two-member Commonwealth Games team.

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