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Williams wants more Olympic cycle events

By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Thursday, February 7 2013

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President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF), Rowena Williams, believes that Mountain Bike and Points Race events should be included into the competitive programme for cyclists at the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This came after the International Cycling Union (UCI) agreed to make a proposal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the additional disciplines on Tuesday. The UCI is campaigning for the return of the points race and some extensions to the various divisions of the BMX and Mountain Bike events.

Cycling’s international body released a statement on Tuesday to the IOC which read: “With regards to the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the management committee expressed its support for a proposal to be made to International Olympic Committee for the addition to the cycling programme of a points race and BMX Freestyle and mountain-bike eliminator events for both men and women.”

Last year, TT held its first ever National Mountain Bike Championships in December.

The event was dubbed a huge success as Rishi Ramlalack took top honours in the Overall Time Trial and David Hackshaw’s golden performance in the Cross Country Open.

After the inaugural staging, the TTCF intends to host the event annually and further raise a national competitive awareness on the growing discipline.

“It’s a good idea that the UCI has put forward these suggestions to the Olympic Committee (IOC). There is a lot of talent out there in the cycling world and events such as the points race should be re-introduced,” Williams stated.

Presently, the points race is used as a one of the stages in the Omnium events. The UCI is currently bidding towards making the points race an individual event.

While this country is still in the introductory stages of nurturing mountain bike talents, Williams admitted that such a sport could be strongly considered over the coming years by locals.

“Well we surely won’t be able to send anyone in this division (mountain bike) to the next Olympics but we can work towards building on this idea. For us to even think about mountain biking and BMX, we would have to set up the required facilities, racing tracks and get the right amount of interest in these disciplines,” she added.

Williams concluded, “Trinidad and Tobago have a lot of endurance riders and this may be a benefit to them if these events are included. However, if we are to put more focus on events such as these, the next Olympics (Brazil) will surely be a long-shot.

So we have a couple of years to see how things go in these aspects.”

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