When the 2013 cycling season pedals off tomorrow, 2012’s most successful cyclist, Robin Persaud, will look to meliorate the rich form he enjoyed on his saddle last year.
Persaud, Guyana’s most consistent cyclist and former national captain won 15 local races in 2012, tripling his goal which was to cart off the top honours in five events. This year however the seasoned campaigner who turns 38 years today is setting the bar higher.
“Last year I won about 15 races but my goal was to win about five”, said Persaud during an interview with Stabroek Sport. ”So this year I am aiming to win seven races, let us see how that goes”.
The sprint ace stated that although he has the talent to ride away with more first place winnings, the competitive nature of cyclists coupled with the ever improving junior riders may prevent him from doing so.
“I am cautiously optimistic but I don’t see that happening because it is a norm that when a rider wins a lot of races other cyclists gun for that person … people prefer you not to win, they will team up on you not to win, it will become tougher this year I am foreseeing that”, Persaud prophesied.
The evergreen Persaud revealed that he commenced base training on January 1 with the aim of being a part of the national team to compete at the Caribbean Cycling Championships and the Easter Grand Prix once he is healthy.
“If all works out and I am injury free I will be looking to be on the national team to compete at the Caribbean Cycling Championships and a meet in Trinidad on the Easter weekend”.
“I restarted base training on New Year’s Day, and I do that for like six weeks. Base training is basically putting a lot of miles in the legs, I do about 1500 miles before I start doing for race preparation, I train five times a week on the road and four days a week in gym”.
Persaud continued “In a week I cover like 250 miles so that is like 50 miles a day, so six weeks that is 1500 miles so after the second week in February I really get down to fine tuning and doing a lot of intervals so in March I should be in full form but if they have races in between I would compete”.
The decorated cyclist also had some advice for young biker amidst the controversy over Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner who was banned for life and stripped of his race wins for using performance enhancement drugs.
“I always liked him and looked up to him” said Persaud of Armstrong. “But looked what happened, he is a disgrace to cycling now, to the youths, you have to stay natural, stay away from these drugs, train hard and train smart and you will get there, no need for drugs because in the end look what cheating does”.
The 2013 cycling season will pedal off with the annual Ricks and Sari Agro Industries Limited 11-race cycling meet which will be staged in the National Park.