Nevis Hosts Inaugural SKN National Championships in Cycling
For the first time in the history of the St Kitts and Nevis Cycling Federation, a national championship event was held over June 20 and 21 in St. James, Nevis. The two day event included a 20km time trial and a 65km road race, and there were over 30 participants from St Kitts & Nevis and one visiting rider from St Marten.
"This race represents the future of St. Kitts and Nevis cycling," says Federation Gen. Secretary and race director Winston Crooke. "To have such an outstanding number of youth turn out for the event shows that cycling has a major presence here on the islands. I have no doubt that in the future, we can have Olympic level cyclists from St. Kitts and Nevis."
The individual time trial event challenges racers against the clock, as riders leave the start line in one minute intervals. Without drafting or team tactics, each racer must brave the elements of wind, weather and road conditions on their own. The individual with the fastest time is crowned the winner, and in Saturday's event, the overall honor went to Reggie Douglas with a time of 33:54. Coming in second in the men's field was James Weekes with 35:07, and rounding out the podium in third was Winston Crooke in 38:04.
For the women's race, Kathryn Bertine (Nevis) placed first in 34:21, which was good enough for second place in the overall standings behind Douglas. Monica Ceccon (Nevis) grabbed second place in 35:23 and Kristina Stoney (Nevis) placed 3rd with 37:36.
"It was wonderful to compete in the first national championships of SKN," Bertine said. "Everyone did a fantastic job and Winston put on a terrific race. I am looking forward to representing SKN at the World Championships in Switzerland this September."
In the junior division of the time trial, Assim Chapman and Sasha Lloyd were the male and female winners, while the under-14 Cadet division was won by Terell Daniel and Jessica Amory. In the masters division, Romeo Flemming (Sxm) took top honors followed by Jaime Holmes and Gordon ‘Doc’ Avery.
Sunday's road race incorporated a 65km event for the adults, and 25km for the Cadets. With a fierce wind and high humidity, the elite racers completed two laps of Nevis whilst the Juniors did one lap, starting at Oualie and heading toward Charlestown. On the second lap, Reggie Douglas broke away from the peloton and held the pack away for a solo finish, with Gerard Browne, Kathryn Bertine, and James Weeks pursuing Douglas to the finish line.
Reggie had this to say about the race “First I just like to say congrats to everybody who participated in the National championship. On Saturday 20th the time trial was held, i went with the intention to win but despite James injury he was not going without a fight so i had to work for the win. on Sunday the road race was held and it was the same, I had to work for it and use my head i was a marked man, i had to play my cards right to get me the win”
Douglas, 31, who is also the reigning National triathlon champion, has been involved in cycling and triathlon for nearly two decades. "We began training Reggie when he was just 13," Crooke said. "We have many athletes come to cycling from Track and Field, Football and even cricket and they do very well on a bike. All it takes is hard work and discipline."