Race Recap By Kathryn Bertine
Race Recap: St.Kitts and Nevis National Championships. June 19 & 20, 2010
It is hard to believe this is my 5th trip down to Nevis since my first journey back in December of 2007. Little did I know that I would someday be fortunate enough to be a dual citizen of this incredible country. Since then, my ESPN Olympic quest has been published as a book, AS GOOD AS GOLD (ESPN/RandomHouse) and my story has been read worldwide--which I hope puts Nevis into the limelight, both in cycling and in all walks of life. I have great pride in my country!
This year's time trial took place on St. Kitts, and the road was flat and fast, but not without challenge. The wind and the traffic provided some obstacles, but I was able to defend my title as national champ. The next day was our road race on Nevis, with an intense and difficult course set up along Zion Hill. Let me rephrase that. FOUR TIMES up Zion Hill! Between the heat, humidity, steep grades and fast pace, the course was incredibly demanding. Placing 1st among the women and 3rd among the men turned out to be a good result! Made even better by the presence of my boyfriend and fellow cyclist, George Varhola begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting. George got the troops moving with a blistering pace at the beginning of the race, then crossed the line in 2nd for a strong showing for the good old USA. Nice job, G. Reggie won and James came in 3rd...they remain the dominant force of elite male cyclists in SKN.
Race results, however, are not as important to me as the bigger picture of cycling for St. Kitts and Nevis. I watched four young junior men--Assim, Kurtis, Trifon and Shaun--and one junior lady, Sasha Lloyd, show incredible promise as the future of SKN cycling. Their talent, poise and confidence is remarkable and their love of the sport is inspiring. How many teenagers do you know that look forward to riding their bicycle up a huge hill, over and over again? These kids clearly understand the reward of hard work and physical excellence, and I'm proud to have the opportunity to help them grow. Reggie, James and I look forward to the day they overtake us on Zion Hill. In the mean time, we'll do what we can to help them soar.
I'll be heading back to the States to race in Boston, Oregon, New York and Arizona before World Championships in Australia in September. Thanks again to Winston, Greg, Matt, Jamie, and the Nevis Cycle Club...for all you do and all you stand for!