Ten local junior cyclists are heading out to compete this weekend at the 2012 Nicole Reinhart Memorial Tour de FCCC in Maxatawny, Pennsylvania. As a competitive preparation for the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships which will be held at the end of August in the Dominican Republic, this weekend’s three stage race will give local cyclists the opportunity to compete against a field of juniors from the US.
The BBA group includes athletes who have already been selected to represent Bermuda in August as well as others who have been part of the core junior training group this year. Heading to Pennsylvania will be Vashon Cann, Mark Godfrey and Deshi Smith who will compete in the Boys 17-18 category; Daelan Richardson, Nathaniel Hartwig, Daniel Oatley and Justin Ferreira in the Boys 15-16 category; and Kamryn Minors (Girls 17-18) and Gabriella Arnold (Girls 15-16). Traveling with the team will be Darren Glasford and BBA president Peter Dunne.
Dunne commented, “We have selected this competition for our riders as the event is just for junior cyclists, allowing them to be the sole focus of the race organizer’s efforts. In local racing our juniors compete against adults and this creates a different dynamic and highlights the disadvantage of racing on “junior gearing” (cyclists aged 18 and under are required to utilize lighter gearing to avoid developmental injury from pushing too hard a gear while still growing). The event is part of the Lance Armstrong Junior Race Series which is now in its 20th year of providing race opportunities for aspiring junior riders across the US.
Competition begins on Saturday, July 21 with a short 4.2 mile individual time trial followed by a road race in the afternoon. The girls will race 21 miles and the boys 29.4 around the same circuit used in the time trial. Racing concludes on Sunday with a criterium of 20 miles (except 25 miles for the older boys) and is held on a 1.1 mile circuit adjacent to the Lehigh Valley Velodrome.
Dunne stressed that the purpose of this competition for was purely to gain race experience in an all-junior field ahead of the regional championship in Dominican Republic. “As we are not able to assess the depth of talent of the other competitors ahead of the first race we are looking for our riders to come away from the weekend with a better understanding of cycling tactics and how to race as a team”.
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