National cycling coach Hassan Mohamed is of the opinion that this year’s 31st annual three-stage road race which will pedal off next Saturday in Berbice will be more competitive than ever.
“I expect this year’s three-stage to be more competitive than the prior events,” said Mohamed yesterday via telephone.
“If you look at the times over the years they are steadily improving and I expect the same this year,” he added.
“We have cyclists that are improving every year and as such the quality and the completion time of the event continue to improve.”
The winn ing time for last year’s road race, which is sponsored by the National Sports Commission (NSC) for the Independence Anniversary, was six hours, 44 minutes and 54 seconds recorded by Ivan Dominguez of Team Coco from Miami, Florida.
Mohammed also revealed that riders from all the local clubs as well as foreign riders are billed to compete in the gruelling event.
“I already have participants from Roraima Bikers, Flying Ace, Flying Stars, Bauxite Flyers from Linden, Carlton Wheelers, Continental and some overseas riders from Trinidad, Suriname, the USA and Anguilla scheduled to compete.
“I cannot give you the total figure now of riders because next week we will get more commitments but like I said before I expect it to be faster than the years before.”
Mohamed also stated that cash prizes, trophies, prime prizes and stage prizes will be up for grabs. The top six overall finishers will each receive lucrative cash incentives.
When asked what he expects of the local riders next weekend, Mohamed said that they are talented enough to finish in the top position as long as they ride as a team.
The three-stage race which will cover a distance of 171.5 miles (274.3km) is expected to attract the crème de la crème of local riders from all the clubs in Guyana as well as overseas riders who will use the event as a warm-up for other races abroad.
The first stage will commence at 7:30hrs at the Corriverton Police Station and will finish at New Amsterdam. (46.6 Miles) (75km).
The second stage starts the same day at 14:00hrs from Rosignol and will proceed to Carifesta Avenue, Georgetown for the finish. (60.4 Miles) (97.1km).
The final stage of the event will start on Sunday at 08:00hrs in Kara Kara, Linden and will conclude at Homestretch Avenue in Georgetown. (64.5 Miles) (103.3km).
Cyclists were required to register their names with their respective clubs or team manager for submission not later than Wednesday during normal working hours at the National Sports Commission Office, 91 Middle Street, South Cummingsburg.
Transportation will leave the National Sports Commission Office on Friday 12:00hrs with cyclists and officials for Springlands, East Berbice.