OPTIMISM remains high among seasoned contestants of the Tobago International Cycling Classic (TICC).
This comes after race chairman Jeffrey Charles revealed, on Monday, there were no immediate plans by the organising committee to cancel the event just yet, even though TT’s borders remain closed.
Charles’ announcement also revealed the annual road cycling event has been pushed back an additional two weeks (October 19-26) from its original start date (September 29-October 4) to facilitate the possibility of the borders reopening.
This was also done to serve as a buffer for Government’s mandatory 14-day quarantine, upon arrival, in TT to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus.
In his post to Facebook, the cycling promoter revealed he remains in close contact with the event’s main stakeholders and cyclists, who have assured their commitment to sponsoring and participating at the 2020 TICC.
“All are still very keen for the event to take place. The TICC management will assess the situation by (the) end of August and on the advice of the TT Government, health and security state agencies, will make a final decision. Let’s hope most of the covid19 spread and restrictions will ease up significantly by then,” posted Charles.
Meanwhile, veteran road cyclist and Tobagonian Emile Abraham has crossed his fingers in the hope the event comes to fruition. Although the experienced road racer is presently based in the US – the current hotbed for covid19 cases – time, according to him, serves as the inevitable factor towards another TICC hosting.
He also believes the inability to host the Classic this year will place additional strain on the sister-isle since the annual road race is one of Tobago’s major platforms for sports tourism.
“We are still optimistic on the TICC. However, the global pandemic situation is not getting better here in the USA. Only time will tell at this point. I think it would not be good for our local sponsors as this is the main event for exposure in the calendar year,” he said.
Canadian pro cyclist and avid TICC participant Trevor Connor also remains positive-minded and lauded Charles and the TT Government for their authoritative handling of the health crisis locally.
In response to Charles post, Connor said, “This is exciting news! Glad Jeffrey Charles and the TT government are trying to make this happen but being responsible about it. Couldn’t imagine not going down to Tobago this fall for my favourite race!”
Prior to confirming this year’s hosting of the Caribbean Premier League T20 Tournament, the Government and tourney organisers underwent several weeks of detailed discussions to ensure proper measures were put in place to facilitate the arrival of regional and international athletes, coaches and officials.
It was agreed upon that visiting players would be tested for coronavirus before they leave their home country. Upon arrival in TT, the players would be tested once more before entering a 14-day quarantine. On the players’ seventh day here, they would be retested and then once more on the 14th day, according to the Ministry of Health regulations.