Focused: Vashon Cann, front, and Mark Godfrey will be two of the eight youth riders competing in the Caribbean Cycling Championships on Saturday and Sunday in the Dominican Republic. Cann is a threat to medal in the road race while Godfrey could also reach the podium in the time trial. *Photo by Simon Parker
Focused: Vashon Cann, front, and Mark Godfrey will be two of the eight youth riders competing in the Caribbean Cycling Championships on Saturday and Sunday in the Dominican Republic. Cann is a threat to medal in the road race while Godfrey could also reach the podium in the time trial. *Photo by Simon Parker

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22: Bermuda’s young cyclists have a tough act to follow at this weekend’s Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Last year Bermuda won five medals in Puerto Rico with Molly Pilgrim and Gabby Arnold both winning two and Dominic Mayho winning the other.

But Pilgrim is injured and Mayho is now too old, but it doesn’t mean Bermuda will come back empty-handed.

Vashon Cann, who finished 23rd in the road race last year, said: “We’ve been putting in the training time.

“Teamwork is key in this race. Last year there were a couple of attacks early on.”

Cann, along with Mark Godfrey and Deshi Smith will compete in the 17/18 year old boys category.

Attacks

He said the three of them most work together to fend off those attacks and still have the strength to counter the ones deeper into the race.

He added that in the time trial, Mark Godfrey is Bermuda’s best chance.

Cann said there are talented riders in the 15/16 year old boys with Daniel Oatley and Nathaniel Hartwig the ones to watch out for Daelan Richardson also figuring in the mix if the race comes down to a sprint finish. Nico Barclay is the fourth member of the younger group having replaced the injured Justin Ferreira.

Barclay is another young rider who is known for his sprinting ability.

Oatley said it was an honour to ride for his country in the Junior Cycling Championships.

The Bermuda Bicycle Association sent many of its juniors abroad to Pennsylvania to help build up their experience.

Oatley said: “It showed that I was a decent force in the time trial so I feel in the time trial I may be able to place.

“As far as the road race goes, we’ve become much better as a team. We’re getting our strategy all together. When that happens, I think we could be a force.”

He said with 15 countries competing it’s hard to know who will come to the fore.

“I’ve been hearing the stories from the other guys and it makes me a little nervous.”

Oatley pointed to his older teammates Cann and Godfrey as having medal potential.

“With this being Vashon’s last year he is going to be driven to get something.”

Bermuda’s best medal hope may be Arnold in the 15 to 18 Girls group.

Oatley said: “We’ll see what Gabby has in store — she trains a lot.”

Arnold won bronze in both the time trial and the road race in 2011.