The ‘Ride For Life’ five-stage cycle road race which is scheduled to pedal off on October 6 will be staged over four days and will require the cyclists to cover a total of 266 miles.
The Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF), the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Health teamed up yesterday to launch the road race at the National AIDS Secretariat building on Hadfield Street and College Road.
The event is now in its fifth year and was fittingly dubbed the ‘Ride For Life 5’.
The Tour of Guyana five-stage road race will feature Guyana’s top riders as well as cyclists from the Caribbean and the USA.
The first stage commences at 07:30 hrs at Corriverton and ends at New Amsterdam (46 miles). On the same day, stage two will begin at 14:00 hrs when the riders will pedal off at Rosignol and journey to Georgetown (60 miles).
On day two (October 7) stage three will start at 09:00 hrs at Wales and end at Parika (35 miles). On day three (October 8) the penultimate stage will commence at 07:30 hrs at Supenaam and conclude at Suddie (62 miles).
On the final day, Sunday, (October 9) the final stage will begin at 8:30 hrs with the cyclists riding from Linden and finishing in Georgetown in another 62-mile race.
Speaking at the launching, Minister of Sport, Dr Frank Anthony, noted that over the past four years the event has been staged successfully and this year will be no different as everything is in place for this fifth edition.
Dr Anthony added that the five-stage Tour of Guyana race is the most prestigious cycle race in Guyana. He said he was pleased with the development of the race in terms of the rising level of competition and the increasing number of competitors.
The minister added that the race serves as an avenue for local cyclists to gain experience and to learn strategies and new techniques from the foreign riders. Anthony also emphasized that with the local riders competing against seasoned foreigners, their performance and cycling in Guyana will be improved.
Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, said that on October 2 a cycling event called the ‘Big Ride’ will compliment the staging of the Tour of Guyana.
Dr Ramsammy mentioned that the ‘Big Ride’ will help to encourage and promote physical activity and a positive lifestyle as well as increase awareness about HIV/AIDS among the participants and the general public.
The health minister highlighted that the ‘Big Ride’ attracted around 1,000 riders last year and this year he hopes to see that number increased to 1,500 or more.
The ‘Big Ride’ will pedal off at 16:00 hrs at the University of Guyana public road and will end at Carifesta Sports Complex.
The ‘Big Ride’ will also coincide with the national week of testing (October 3 to 7) and Caribbean Wellness Month.
Ramsammy thanked the GCF for playing its part in spreading health awareness through cycling.
He disclosed too that he is trying to have the Tour of Guyana included in the calendar as one of the main races in the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, as an incentive for taking part in the ‘Big Ride’ three lucky participants will each receive a bicycle.
Also at the launching was President of the GCF Cheryl Thompson who said that the federation is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Health, especially to help promote health awareness among cyclists and the public at large.
Thompson added that the tour will attract four teams from the Caribbean and Florida’s Team Cocos.
The GCF president went on to say that she expects bigger and better performances from the local cyclists, as they have been exposed to a very high standard of international cycling recently.
Past winners of the Tour of Guyana include Alonzo Greaves (2007), Junior Niles (2008), Geron Williams (2009) and Antonio Quintero of Team Cocos, USA (2010).
Other persons present at the launch included national cycling coach, Hassan Mohamed; Nazim Hussein, community mobilization coordinator; Dr Shanti Singh, Programme Manager, National AIDS Programme Secretariat; and Director of Sport, Neil Kumar.