Precious UCI points up-for-grabs as Speed Paradise pedals off

Cycling coach Erin Hartwell -
Cycling coach Erin Hartwell -

ELEVEN cycling nations continue pursuit of valuable International Cycling Union (UCI) points at the Speed Paradise (May 30) and Carnival of Speed (June 1-2) events, at the National Cycling Centre in Couva.

These points will help riders from the competing countries — USA, Mexico, Canada, India, Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Suriname and hosts Trinidad and Tobago — bolster their chances of qualifying for the World Track Cycling Championships and the UCI Nations Cup.

Both Speed Paradise and Carnival of Speed are class-two UCI events and will also go towards cyclists’ world rankings.

Former Trinidad and Tobago elite cycling coach Erin Hartwell is back in Trinidad after a four-year hiatus, this time, with a six-member US team.

The American double-Olympic medallist was brought on to spearhead US’ national track sprint programme in 2021.

In May 2010, Hartwell had a short six-month stint as TT coach, and was then rehired as the new technical director of cycling in September 2017, where he served until January 2020.

He expressed pleasure to be back at his old stomping ground in Couva but confirmed his team is here to put in the work and churn out strong performances.

“We need UCI points to race at the Nations Cup next year. Whether it’s running in a class two event in Trinidad or a class one in Europe or elsewhere, these are hoops that we’re going to jump through and events we’re going to go to, to collect the points we desperately need for next year’s racing,” he said.

Hartwell is preparing his team for three days of high-quality competition, and knows the other competing nations are chasing the same targets.

TT will be represented by the cream of its crop of locally-based cyclists since world-renowned sprinter Nicholas Paul is currently at his base in Switzerland, and fellow Olympic hopeful Kwesi Browne is scheduled to join him there over the next few days.

Hartwell’s team comprises the in-form Evan Boone, who recently clocked a speedy 10 seconds flat in the men’s flying 200m, and Kayla Hankins, who also sped to a nippy 10.8 seconds in the women’s equivalent.

“We’re bringing our A squads down. These are our best sprinters in the US and, granted, we’re in Los Angeles 2028 Olympics build. We had a very successful Pan Am champs with both our team sprint teams pedalling to bronze.

“Our athletes are in good form coming off a good Pan Ams and Milton Nations Cup. We’re also in a prep period as we’re preparing four national champs in July. We’ve been at big training blocs. I think all athletes are in a building mode,” he added.

Action rides off on all days from 5pm.


"Precious UCI points up-for-grabs as Speed Paradise pedals off"

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