JUNIOR cyclists and officials from overseas are converging on the island for the hosting of the 11th Caribbean Junior Cycling Championships.
A record nineteen foreign teams and host country St. Lucia will do battle for supremacy Saturday and Sunday in Castries (Millennium Highway) and Vieux Fort.
President of the St. Lucia Cycling Association Cyril Mangal said 53 juniors, 47 juveniles and nine girls totalling 109 cyclists have registered; while Saint Lucia has named a team comprising 6 juniors and three juveniles.
Also in Saint Lucia for the championships will be Jose Manuel Pelaez, President of the Pan American Cycling Confederation and member of International Cycling Union Management Committee of Cuba, Trevor Bailey, President of the Caribbean Cycling Confederation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Pedro Frias, International Commissaire of Cuba, Juan Mercado, International Commissaire of Venezuela and Michel Marie Sainte Technical Delegate of Martinique.
The first event, the Individual Time Trial will be held on Saturday on the Millennium Highway from 2:00 p.m. near the La Toc roundabout the participants will travel 5 km towards Cul de Sac and 5km back to the start.
On Sunday, the event will head to the Vieux Fort for an 8:00 a.m. start on the Vieux Fort Laborie Highway next to the bus terminal. Riders will race on the Vieux Fort-La Resource circuit which goes around the airport with a distance of just under 12.5 kilometres.
Leading Saint Lucia charge in the junior category is Andrew Norbert; he will have alongside him Dave Charlery, Donald Joseph, Calixte Williams, Joel Mentor and Janick Paul.
In the Juveniles section, Kluivert Mitchel, Jesse Mentor and HilanAubert will be in the thick of things.
Andrew Norbert, Dave Charlery, Kluivert Mitchel and Jesse Mentor are returning to the championships following last year’s debut in the Dominican Republic. Out of the nine cyclists representing St.Lucia five are making their debut at the championships and they include Joel Mentor, Donald Joseph, Janick Paul, HilanAubert and Calixte Williams.
The participating countries are – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Martin (French), St. Marteen (Dutch), Suriname, United States Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and host St. Lucia.
Mangal said, the two day Caribbean championships will cost in the region of EC$170,000.00 to EC$200,000.00.