– claims ongoing injustices
After dominating stage two of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) cycle road race, Team Coco’s has
withdrawn from the remaining stages of the event. The team occupied the first six positions in the stage which commenced from Rosignol and concluded at Carifesta Avenue yesterday.
Team owner, US based Ian Davis informed Kaieteur Sport of his team’s withdrawal from the race after he felt that they were treated unfairly pointing out ongoing injustices. Davis pointed stated that during stage two, they (officials on the team bus) were informed by a race official to move forward because they had a lead of over three minutes and as such they were escorted by the said official to the riders on the break away (upfront).
Davis said they got up to the breakaway, but shortly after another race official told them that the time was not three minutes and instructed them to move back. Davis stated that they retreated to the back of the race and a cyclist, Montgommery Parris asked for water and it was given to him. He informed that at that point no questions were asked and they were not informed of any shortcomings.
“After the completion of the stage, I was asked to speak with the Race Director Mr. Malcolm Sonaram and he told me that each member of the team will be penalized where 30 seconds will be deducted from them,” he explained.
Davis said at that point he told Sonaram that his team will withdraw from the event. He stated that there is an ongoing issue since the team was formed and they will not take part in future events in Guyana. “The Guyana Cycling Federation is incompetent,” Davis added.
He told Kaieteur Sport that when they attempted to feed one of their cyclists from a supporting motor cycle, they were asked to go aback of the bunch even though their cyclist moved aside. He said other motorcyclists not only fed but also wet cyclists from other teams which he deemed illegal. Davis explained that since he got involved in the sport
locally, it has gone to another level.
However, Race Director, Sonaram told Kaieteur Sport that Team Coco’s officials never sought permission to move forward and at no time the gap was over three minutes. He said the longest time for the gap was Two Minutes 25 Seconds and when they moved forward the time was One Minute 30 Seconds and as such they were instructed to go back.
Sonaram said that after the race he spoke with the President of the GCF Ms. Cheryl Thompson and Secretary General of the Guyana Olympic Association Hector Edwards along with other officials and the decision to penalize the team was taken.
He informed that despite the penalty, Team Coco’s still occupies first and second place and have a considerable lead overall. The race rules provide for team supporters to move forward if they have a lead of at least three minutes.
Team Coco’s withdrawal is a blow to the overall competitiveness and quality of the race which continues today and ends on Sunday.
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