TRINIDAD AND Tobago were crowned new Elite Pan American Track Cycling Championships men’s team sprint champions at the Villa Deportivan Nacional Velodrom in Lima, Peru, on Wednesday.
Cyclists Nicholas Paul, Kwesi Browne and Zion Pulido powered to victory in a blistering time of 43.86 seconds to better the Canadian silver medallists Tyler Rorke, Nick Wammes and James Hedgcock in the title race.
Holding on to bronze was Colombia as they successfully staved off Mexico in the third place ride.
In the opening round, TT advanced third fastest of the eight qualifying nations. Paul, Browne and Pulido clocked 44.585 seconds, pedalling at an average speed of 60.558kmph (kilometres per hour) . Here, Canada topped the field in 44.42 while Colombia was second fastest in 44.55.
Up against Venezuela’s Hersony Canelon, Yorber Teran and Adamil Aguero in the semis, TT triumphed once more to seal a spot in the gold medal race.
TT’s top-tier finish saw them repeat their 2019 performance and better last year’s silver medal team sprint showing by Pulido, Njisane Phillip and Keron Bramble.
Additionally, this was Paul’s fourth gold and sixth medal overall at a major meet within the last month. In July, he won sprint and kierin gold at the UCI Nations Cup and followed up with gold (keirin), silver (sprint) and bronze (1km time trial) at the Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, TT’s women’s pro endurance cyclist Alexi Costa was unable to repeat or improve on her bronze medal scratch race showing at last year’s championships as she finished fifth.
Compatriot and fellow endurance rider Akil Campbell also finished outside of the medals in the men’s elimination race.
Action continues on Thursday with both Paul and Browne lining up in the keirin event. Other endurance events will be contested as well.
Also set to compete at the championships for TT are sprinter Quincy Alexander, women’s pro road cyclist Teniel Campbell, and young sprinter Sylese Christian.