Dutchman Peter Schulting and Barbadian Jamol Eastmond will be among the favourites in the main event when the Beacon Cycling on the Avenue Six takes place at Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook, from 7 pm, today.
The main event is a 35-lap race which will start and finish at Mike's Bikes featuring local, regional and international cyclists. The main event will start at 8.40 pm.
However, a new champion will be crowned this year, as the defending two-time winner Norlandy Sanchez of Dominican Republic will not compete due to academic commitments.
Schulting has had a successful time in TT recently, as the Team PSL rider won both the four-stage Tobago International Cycling Classic last week and the Tour of Tobago on Sunday.
Eastmond, who won the main event at the Beacon Cycling on the Avenue event in 2014, has also been in top form of late. Eastmond, a Heatwave cyclist, won the main event at the Republic Day Cycling Classic on September 24.
A number of the laps in the main event will be keenly contested as numerous lap prizes are up for grabs. However, over 60 cyclists will have their eyes on the first prize of $10,000.
Yesterday, at a press conference held at Mike's Bikes some of the cyclists spoke ahead of today's event. Eastmond says he has a chance to win the title if the races ends in a sprint. "Cycling is always a gamble so it depends on how everything goes. I will like it to come down to a bunch sprint, but again it is cycling so it is always a gamble," Eastmond said.
Eastmond was involved in an accident with a maxi taxi while training in Chaguaramas one month ago. The Barbadian said he is still affected by the accident but he will give it his all. "Since then I have had minor headaches and shoulder pains. Again it is cycling it is a tough sport and I will work with what I have."
American Ben Foster of Team Econo Car Rentals said he expects the race to be fast. "The stage race (Tobago Classic) we just competed in included some criteriums. I think this one is going to be a lot faster and a little bit harder and is going to be good for the sprinters especially with all the premes," Foster said.
Tobagonian Emile Abraham of Team Pharmaco, who recently came out of retirement, also anticipates a challenging race. "I know everybody is going to go out there to win the premes and the (overall) race. Everybody has the same agenda so I know it is going to be a hard, fast race. I am (looking forward) to having a great race."
Ten races are scheduled for the night, while soca artiste Blaxx will perform after the races in an event which is free to the public.