National cycling coach, Hassan Mohamed is optimistic of his charges out pedaling their Surinamese counterparts when the first leg of the 2013 Inter Guiana Games (IGG) rolls off on Friday.
“For the last three years we have been winning and performing well so I hope we continue in that rich vein but I am very confident of the males and the females as well, I am very optimistic they can win,” Mohamed told Stabroek Sport yesterday.
“The level of competition they (local junior riders) are exposed to here at home is much higher than what they will see. I am not underestimating the foreign team but I am just stating from my point of view that our standard of racing especially for the junior riders is very high, just look at the results that we have been achieving over the past couple of years.”
Guyana’s male team will comprise Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year and gold medalist at last year’s Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships (JCCC), Paul DeNobrega, junior road race champion, Michael Anthony, silver medalist at this year’s JCCC, Akeem Arthur and top junior Hamzah Eastman.
Marica Dick and Toshwanna Doris will make up the female team.
Mohamed said that the locals could sweep the podium places as long as they ride as a team.
On Friday, the time trials will pedal off at 08:00hrs in the National Park while the road race will commence six hours later at West Demerara.
For the time trials, the males will race against the clock for 10km while the females will race for 6km.
As customary the males will ride 60km (36 miles) for the road race starting at Nismes, proceed to Vergenoegen and return to the starting line for the finish.
The female 40km race will begin at Nismes, continued to Leonora and return to the point of origin for the finish.
In 2011, in Paramaribo, Suriname and here last year Guyana dominated the cycling Championships defeating French Guiana and Suriname.
Guyana will host the opening leg of the IGG multi- discipline sport which also involves Suriname from August 8-11.
Suriname’s contingent will arrive on Thursday to contest football, cycling, table-tennis and chess.
The aim of the Games is to create possibilities for youths to come together and compete in different sport disciplines, focusing on better sport results and better understanding of each other’s culture.