Bermuda will host next month’s Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships, the Bermuda Bicycle Association has revealed.
The event is the annual championships for cyclists aged 15 to 18 and has served as a springboard for several of Bermuda’s top cyclists competing internationally.
XL Catlin is supporting the event as the title sponsor along with regional sporting organisations PASO and COPACI and several local businesses.
The championships will feature some of the best junior cyclists from the top countries in the region such as Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and Barbados.
Bermuda will finalise their team in the coming weeks and will field a strong team around Alyssa Rowse and Matthew Oliveira, both gold medal-winners from last year’s event, as well as Kaden Hopkins and Nicholas Narraway. Rowse and Hopkins also won titles in 2016.
The males will be divided into two groups, 15 to 16 year-olds and 17 to 18, while all of the females will be racing in a single category.
Peter Dunne, the BBA president, believes the event will be crucial to the association’s efforts to develop the sport.
“This will be the second time that we have served as hosts for this competition and our goals are the same in 2018 as they were in 2009,” Dunne said.
“Firstly, we want to put on quality races for all competitors. The BBA has consistently maintained an active racing calendar for our members and our experience in running events of this size and nature should help us deliver a strong weekend of competition.
“Secondly, this is a rare opportunity for our junior riders to face strong competition on home soil. Each year we travel to the Caribbean with a team of athletes and they have consistently demonstrated the strength of our local athletes.
“Finally, by hosting the event we hope to encourage more Bermuda youngsters to try the sport of cycling, helping us make even further strides in growing the sport locally.”
Patrick Tannock, president of the XL Foundation, XL Catlin’s Bermuda-based philanthropic unit, points out that the sponsorship is aligned with the company’s focus and track record of youth development.
“We are proud to be the title sponsor of the 2018 Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships, especially as they will be held here in Bermuda,” Tannock said. “This is a good opportunity to visibly support our young cyclists and to showcase their talent.”
Other Bermuda cyclists to win titles at the event are Gabriella Arnold and Daniel Oatley in 2012 and Molly Pilgrim and Dominique Mayho in 2011.
Racing will take place on August 11 and 12, with a time-trial and road race.