Cyclists Promote Federation
James Weekes was one of four Cyclists who represented the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis at the World Cycling Championships held in Switzerland recently.
The others were: Reggie Douglas, Kathryn Bertine and Monica Ceccon. Weekes indicated that he and his team mates were really grateful for the experience even though they realized first hand that the competition level was way above their league. ‘As good as we think we are, it’s amazing to see some of these guys pedaling bikes as if they work with engines!’ he exclaimed.
Weekes and Douglas were involved in the time trials and while Douglas completed the course in 1 hour and 18 minutes, Weekes completed the course in 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, some of the top riders were completing the course in 57 minutes and similar times.
The Federation ladies however, were able to compete in the time trials and the actual road race, due to a less stringent time limit.
Weekes indicated that his team got the most media coverage. This was due, in his opinion to several factors:
- He and Reggie were out front in the time trials in the positions they were asked to ride and thus the cameras were focused on them for a long time
- They were two of three blacks in the entire race make up and thus the Press gravitated to them
- The Federation team’s uniform was the most exciting on show.
He indicated that they used the opportunity to sell Nevis as many of the persons who contacted them had not even heard of the Federation and Nevis. They used maps to indicate the location of the twin island Federation and signed many autographs and shared in numerous interviews. He expects that quite a number of persons would keep their promise to visit our shores especially during the major annual Triathlon event, set for March next year.
Canadian Cycling News noted that “whilst Alexander Vinokourov, returning after his ban for doping, was roundly booed on the hill, the athletes from St Kitts & Nevis received the loudest support”
Reggie stopped off in Puerto Rico to participate in a team event there, where his team placed third but he and Weekes are planning to head off to Barbados for the final major Caribbean cycling championship for the year, which will be held towards the end of this month—October. They are both hoping for public or private sector persons to assist with sponsorship as they anticipate that they can hopefully dominate at the Caribbean level. Having matched skills with some of the dynamos from the famous ‘Tour De France’, Weekes is confident of a really good showing in Barbados.