THIRTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD Cuban-American, Frank Travieso (Team Pharmaco), is ready to defend his coveted Beacon Cycling on the Avenue 35-lap (1.2km) main event title when the eighth instalment of the annual meet speeds off along Ariapita Avenue, St Clair, from 7pm tomorrow.
Travieso, alongside teammates Emile Abraham and Kaya Catthouse, joined a host of other local and international road cyclists at yesterday’s event launch which was held at Harts Mas Camp, Woodbrook.
Renowned cyclists such as American Cyrus Pearo (Geronimo Cycles), German Marcel Weber (Veloclub Ratisbona), Venezuelan Clever Martinez (Raiders), TT’s Adam and Joshua Alexander (Raiders), Akil Campbell (PSL), Tyler Cole (DPS) and former Beacon champion, Jamol Eastmond (Heatwave), all comprise a lengthy list of talented endurance riders gunning for the $10,000 jackpot. Altogether, Beacon has injected a massive $250,000 into its eighth hosting of this event.
However, fresh off a highly successful campaign with his team at the just concluded Tobago International Cycling Classic (TICC), Travieso revealed he is intent on retaining the crown, but is well aware of the many competitive threats that lie within the packed cast of local and international talents.
“The Tobago Classic helped me get a lot of additional training in for this year’s edition,” said Travieso at the event launch yesterday. “My legs aren’t burnt out and well, I never go for second (place). I love to win and the goal is to execute a victorious performance and successfully defend my title.”
Eastmond, a former main event champion and part of the 2019 TICC Top Team, shared similar sentiments. The decorated Bajan cyclist admitted he would also like to earn a place on the Beacon podium for tonight’s big race.
“It’s going to have to be a team effort,” he said. “Even if one of my teammates wins the event, it’s a victory for us. Of course I’d like to return to top of the podium. We just have to execute well as a team and the results will come. There’s a lot of competing talent so it’s going to be tough for all riders.”
Additionally, prior to the start of the night’s races, promoter Michael Phillips has once again opted to feature a special duathlon for primary and secondary school students. This event will be contested by five age groups (7 & Under; Boys & Girls 8-9; Boys & Girls 10+; Under-13; Under-16).
“Over 100 kids have registered for the duathlon thus far and this event has brought new blood to Beacon Cycling on the Avenue. We also intend to have this duathlon as an ongoing feature annually,” stated Phillips.
Sprint and endurance races are categorised into Division One and Two (male and female) and Juniors. Throughout all races, there will be multiple cash incentives on specific laps which will ensure competition remains at a high intensity.
Sponsoring this year’s event are titled sponsors Beacon, NLCB, Flow, Jeep, Blue Waters, Yoplait, Gatorade, Arm & Hammer and CPS.