Abraham unable to defend title tomorrow
By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Saturday, September 15 2012
A NEW National champion will be crowned this year when the Trinidad and Tobago Road Race for Elite Men and Master’s pedals off at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, tomorrow, from 7am.
Reigning champion, Emile Abraham will be unable to defend his coveted title this year since he is presently ill in the US. After a hectic competitive campaign for the Tour of Trinidad and Tobago Unity Race and two recent silver medals at the Dick Lane Velodrome (US), Abraham is currently bed- ridden with an unknown illness.
The 2011 Elite Road Race champion was originally scheduled to arrive in TT yesterday for this weekend’s race, but due to the seriousness of his condition, he opted to sit it out. “Obviously not attending national championship Road Race. The doctor could not determine the exact cause but did say it was some sort of viral infection. Still pretty sick now, but some symptoms have passed.”
Yesterday, the US-based rider was scheduled to visit his doctor for a third consecutive time but this time he will be accompanied by his Infectious Disease specialist, to clarify what exactly was causing the persistent illness.
The Rossetti Devo Cycling Team member was openly upset to not have a chance of retaining his national title. He also wanted to make up for a somewhat shoddy performance (11th) at the Tour of TT.
“It is quite disappointing to not being able to defend my title. It is always an honor to wear the national champion jersey representing Trinidad and Tobago. I was certainly looking to defending it, especially since I had a bad exit to the tour of T&T,” he added.
But, with the exclusion of Abraham, it now leaves the 2012 edition of the National Road Race open for a new champion.
The event will start at the Ato Boldon Stadium, proceed left onto Couva Main Road, across the flyover and turn right onto the Solomon Hochoy Highway. It will then be directed towards the Ste Madeline/ Corinth flyover, then turn right and onto the northbound of Hochoy highway. Riders will then exit at the Claxton Bay flyover and turn right, to proceed east toward Tortuga. It will turn left, pass the Tortuga RC Church and proceed back to the Couva/Preysal road and turning left back to Couva/Preysal flyover.
With a final climb at the end of every lap, some 4km long and segments of 13% gradient along with battling the undulating hills and cross winds of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, it should be a true test to find T&T’s best road cyclists. The distance of the course is 44.1km/ 27.4 miles. This year’s competition will be contested in Elite Men (Open) - 3 Laps (132km); Masters 40-49 - 2 Laps (88km); Masters 50-59 - 1 Lap (44km) and Masters 60+ - 1 Lap (44km).