8 Jamaicans for Caribbean Cycling Champs in Curacao

BY GERALD REID Observer writer

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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SIX riders from Jamaica, consisting of four males and two females, will compete in the annual Caribbean Cycling Championships, which is to take place from October 19-20, 2013 in Curacao.

The cyclists making it to the Caribbean Cycling Championships are Marlo Rodman, Tinga Stewart, Oshane Williams, Peter Thompson, Dalahia Palmer and Bianca Haunould.

Officials accompanying the cyclists are Carlton Simmonds - head coach, and Edward Harper, manager.

The Jamaican contingent should to leave the island tomorrow to get familiar with the race circuit.

According to Simmonds, nearly the entire Caribbean region will be taking part as it is a qualifier to compete in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games to be held in Mexico City, Mexico, next year.

The other Caribbean countries down to participate other than Jamaica and hosts Curacao, and the Cayman Islands, are Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Martinique and Barbados,

St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, United States (US) Virgin Islands, Aruba, The Bahamas, Antigua and St Kitts.

Simmonds said the men will compete over 40 kilometres time trial and an 80-mile road race, while for the women will race a 15 kilometres time trial and 50-mile road race.

He said last year Jamaica did poorly at the Caribbean Cycling Championships that was held on the north coast in Jamaica. However, he believes this time around the team has a good chance of winning a medal.

Jamaica's Horace McFarlane won gold in 2004, Jamaica picked up a bronze in 2006, finished fourth in 2007 and silver in 2012.

The former local representative said that the team is currently ready and raring to go and the preparations have been extremely good. "Our main focus, however, is trying to win to qualify for the CAC Games...

"We are looking to go one step further as Jamaica only picked up silver in last year's championships. The two females are looking great and I know they will be right in contention with their Caribbean neighbours," Simmonds said.

Turner is expected to concentrate on winning the time trial, but will get the support of Thompson with Rodman and Williams the main competitors for the road race. However, they will be given the support and assistance from Turner and Thompson.

Meanwhile, Haunould is the main entrant for the female time trial, and according to Simmonds, this will be her first and she is rally looking good and should be in contention for a medal.

Palmer is the top rider in the road race for the women with supporting role and assistance coming from Haunould, who should combine to get the better of their opponents.

The Jamaican contingent is expected to return to the island next Tuesday.

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