No Hartwell but TT riders eye Olympic points

TT's Nicholas Paul -
TT's Nicholas Paul -

TT gets its final International Cycling Union (UCI) World Cup and penultimate Olympic qualifier event under way at the Milton Velodrome in Canada on Saturday from 2.18pm.

Kwesi Browne continues his Men’s Keirin qualification campaign and will line up alongside a challenging peloton of riders from Spain, Poland, Belarus, Japan, Russia, France, Germany and China.

Browne is expected to face an uphill task as all nations will be gunning for precious Olympic points ahead of the final Tokyo 2020 qualifier, UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which rides off in Germany from February 26-March 1.

The national speedster, under the expertise of outgoing national coach Erin Hartwell, has single-handedly climbed the rankings over the past couple months as TT now sit in 12th position (3,540pts) overall on the Olympic nation rankings.

Additionally on Sunday, Pan Am sprint champ Nicholas Paul also continues his chase for an Olympic spot in the men’s sprint. Paul is in a good position to qualify for the Summer Games but he must maintain his recent run of form following the last three World Cups in 2019.

The team’s newest addition, Quincy Alexander, also lines up in the men's sprint. TT is presently ranked seventh (5,321pts) on the Olympic nation rankings in men's sprint category.

TT's cyclists are without Hartwell, who has been instrumental in their progression to this crucial stage.

On Tuesday, the two-time American Olympic medallist was granted “leave” by his employers, Sport Company of TT, to pursue other opportunities.

Originally, TT was scheduled to vie for a spot in the Men’s Team Sprint on Friday night. In early January however, Njisane Phillip and Keron Bramble, two of the three team sprint riders opted to omit themselves from all pre-Olympic training and qualifier events, deeming the task of qualifying for Tokyo 2020 as impossible.

Since their exit, the team sprint squad, which also comprised of Paul, collapsed, putting an end to TT’s Olympic dreams in that event.

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"No Hartwell but TT riders eye Olympic points"

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