SAINT LUCIA’S Andrew Norbert has won the OECS Cycling Championship, ahead of 26 other competitors, in Dominica over the weekend.
Norbert, 19, said the race was “a bit difficult”, but he was able to out-maneuver the competition to take home the top prize for his country ahead of last year’s winner Jymes Bridges of Antigua and Barbuda, who finished third.
Norbert completed the 55-mile (96 kilometre) race from Ma Boyd’s Bar on Goodwill Road to Portsmouth and back in a time of 3 hours 00.05.43 seconds; 2nd Place, Emmanuel Gayral, Antigua and Barbauda in 3 hours 00:05.43 seconds, 3rd Place, Jymes Bridges, Antigua and Barbuda in 3 hours 01:13 seconds, 4th place, Rene Gayral, Antigua and Barbauda in 3 hours 01:55.67 seconds and 5th place, Robert Marsh, Antigua and Barbauda in 3 hours 04:47.24 seconds
Dominica’s Bram Sanderson came in eighth in the race, giving Dominica a spot in the top 10.
Koath Baron, 17, from Dominica was recognized as the youngest competitor in the race.
At the prize giving, President of the Dominica Cycling Competition, Ronald Charles, said despite an accident which involved Dominican cyclists, the competition went well.
Charles said, “One must admit the fact that we had an accident and because of that maybe it created a few dark clouds for many of our Dominica supporters.
“Nonetheless, at the end of the day, the weather held up nicely, we had a wonderful turnout although I still believe much more could have come out of it in terms of support.”
He said the event is growing and has the potential to enhance the island’s tourism product.
“We will try our best as an association to do what we can in our capacity,” he said, pointing out that finance is always an issue.
Charles said visiting cyclists to Dominica gave the event thumbs up and the island could host the Caribbean Cycling Championship in 2020 in which 26 countries compete.
“So big things are coming,” he stated. “So in the next year and a half, we might be able to host another big event. So we look forward to continuing the development of the sport.”
He stated that for the event to be safer and better, a holistic approach is needed.
“All private sector, government, financial institutions, Dominicans, by and large, have to be on the bandwagon to take the sport forward,” he remarked. “This national event needs the input from everybody in order for it to turn out to be massive.”