Several top local cyclists remain uncertain whether they would take part in Sunday’s resumption of the TT Cycling Federation (TTCF) Road Race Series.
A release issued by the local cycling fraternity on Friday revealed the restart of its road race event at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, from 7am.
This event serves as the TTCF’s first official road race since the Government’s lifting outdoor restrictions due to the covid19 pandemic.
The event programme says races will be contested in 11 divisions. The TTCF also outlined a list of protective protocols that must be followed to ensure team/individual participation.
Registration will be done by managers only with a listing of cyclists and registration fees ($80 per cyclist). No cyclist will be allowed at the registration desk unless he is an unattached cyclist.
All officials and team management must wear masks. There will be temperature checks on arrival at the venue. Social distancing must be maintained during the event by all clubs.
No gatherings willbe allowed at the start/finish line except for officials. Additionally, trophies and medals will be presented to top-finishers immediately after the event.
The course description runs parallel to the highway and uses the stadium car park.
While cyclists were expected to welcome this official event with open arms, some are dubious, for varying reasons.
Inaugural Virtual Time Trial champion Adam Alexander, women’s pro road cyclist Alexi Costa and TT-based Colombian rider Dennis Ramirez believe the recent spread of covid19 locally is a crucial demotivating factor.
Alexander, who rides for Team Raiders, said, “I want to compete, and plan to go down to the venue to see how things pan out.
"I’m a bit unsure to participate because I’d like to see for myself firsthand how they (TTCF) would be handling the aspect of physical distancing among cyclists. If I’m satisfied with what I see, I’ll take part. If not, I won’t.”
Seasoned road cyclist Costa (Heatwave) admitted she would not risk taking part this time around. Costa’s decision to opt out, however, was due to the irregular course outline being used by the TTCF.
“I’m not yet comfortable riding among multiple cyclists because of the novel (corona)virus.
"But it’s the course that gets me. I really prefer to ride on the road and not within the confines of one area. It’s a strange circuit for me and I’d rather do a real road race instead of one that’s restricted to one particular area,” she said.
Colombian Ramirez (Team Raiders), who has been racing in TT since 2017, is also uncertain because of the course outline and safety regulations. Ramirez will come to the venue alongside teammate Alexander, but is not impressed with the course.
“I don’t fancy the circuit. And with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a tricky situation for me. I may or may not go due to these reasons. We’ll have to wait and see. With local spread of the virus increasing, everyone’s a bit edgy,” he said.
This event is being used as a selection criterion for the Elite Road National pool for further selection for the upcoming Elite and Junior Caribbean Road Championships event 2020.