Vashon Cann. *File photo by Vashon Cann
Vashon Cann. *File photo by Vashon Cann

MONDAY, AUGUST 20: Eight junior cyclists head out to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic later this week to compete in the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships.  Hosted by the Federación Dominican de Ciclismo, the event includes an individual time trial on Saturday, August 25th and a road race the following day.

Both events will take place in the capital city of Santo Domingo.

Bermuda’s representatives are Vashon Cann, Mark Godfrey and Deshi Smith in the 17/18 year old boys category, Daniel Oatley, Daelan Richardson, Nathaniel Hartwig and Nico Barclay in the 15/16 boys category, and Gabby Arnold in the 15-18 girls group. 

Previously selected but unable to participate due to injury are Molly Pilgrim and Justin Ferreira.  Pilgrim, the defending champion in both the time trial and road race, was involved in a crash in late June and her resulting injuries have kept her away from the bike since then.  Ferreira required surgery on his foot just last week after suffering an injury in a triathlon a month ago.

The Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships remains the major goal for the BBA’s junior riders as it provides a consistently high level of competition and helps set benchmarks for further development of the local cycling program.

Having earned five medals in the 2011 installment of the event with Pilgrim (2), Arnold (2) and Dominique Mayho (1) who has aged out of the event, the 2012 team has a burden of expectation for results.  With returning medalist Arnold and silver medalist from 2010 Godfrey, the group has a base level of talent that is equal to the regional cycling powers such as Puerto Rico, Curacao and Barbados.  New to the event this year are Oatley, Hartwig and Barclay, who, with the returning Richardson, Cann and Smith, round out a group that has been training together for the entire year. 

Coupling local racing with their preparations has given the group a strong foundation of fitness and racing knowledge which should bode well for them this weekend.