By Franklin Wilson
It’s that time of the year when the most prestigious period on the cycling calendar takes center
stage; it’s the National Championships which will be run over three days beginning today with the Time Trials.
This is the season when the national champions in the senior, female, junior, juvenile, veteran Over and Under-45 categories will be crowned. They will each have bragging rights as the best for the next 12-months, apart from winning medals and a championship jersey which depicts their achievement.
Guyana’s #1 female, UK based Claire Fraser-Green will be defending her Time Trial and Road Race championships which she has done for the last four years and is tipped to make it five in a row.
Also set to defend the double is junior champion Christopher Cornelius who was in pristine form last year; judging from performances so far this year, Cornelius would be hard pressed to take the respective top podium spots this time around as the likes of Briton John, Curtis Dey, and Jason Cameron will all be challenging the champ.
Veteran Under and Over-45 Time Trial winner last year, Raymond ‘Steely’ Newton and Stephen Fernandes have not been very active this year and if they show up, would be hard pressed to repeat their 2016 feat.
In the limelight are Guyana’s most dominant Under-45 cyclist Junior Niles who would have to stave off the likes of Warren ‘Forty’ Mc Kay, Lear Nunes and Everal Mundy among others. Ian ‘Deaf Boy’ Jackson, Andrew Spencer, Shameer Baksh and Bochel Samaroo are some of the contenders in the Over-45 class.
Transportation, which has been provided by the National Sports Commission (NSC), is expected to leave outside the NSC at 07:00hrs today for the starting point for the Time Trials, Hairuni, Linden, Soesdyke Highway.
The eight-mile course will see the riders turning back at the Long Creek Primary School sign and returning to the starting line for the finish.
There has been an adjustment in the miles for the juniors and Over-45 riders for tomorrow’s Road
Races. They will now ride a total of 53-miles similar to the females and juveniles, which will see them pedaling off from the NSC on Homestretch Avenue tomorrow from 08:00hrs proceed to Timehri at the bottle neck before returning to the starting line for the finish.
The Under-45 vets will turn on to the Linden Soesdyke Highway proceed to the Camp Wesleyana sign before returning to the starting line for completion, a total of 70 miles.
The Senior Road Race will be contested on Sunday June 25th where only Under-45 cyclists who would like to take part are allowed and not juniors as the federation had previously announced. Club representatives meeting with the GCF on Thursday last at the GOA agreed that the juniors would not be allowed to participate.
The senior race would see the big guns covering a distance of 103 miles from Homestretch Avenue to Camp Sewayo, Linden Soesdyke Highway and return to the starting line to complete what would be the longest race ever for National championship glory.
The likes of defending champion Geron Williams, Raynauth Jeffrey, Andrew Hicks, Hamza Eastman, Christopher Holder and Shaquelle Agard, all presently competing in the USA, are expected to be back for next week’s showdown.
They will come up against the home boys including Jamal John, Walter Grant-Stuart, Paul De Nobrega (recently returned from USA), Alanzo Ambrose, Enzo Matthews (recently returned from USA), Mario King, Andre Green and Jeban Crawford.
It is not certain if Michael Anthony and Orville Hinds, both competing in French Guiana would be back for next week’s showdown.
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