The Tour of T&T Independence Classic is back, and so is Trinidad and Tobago’s top road cyclist, Emile Abraham, set to pedal off the competitive portion of the “Tour” today from 9.30 a.m.
The US-based rider, who only touched down in T&T yesterday afternoon, will be back on the bike in the individual time trial event from Maracas Beach to Maracas Lookout. Today’s first stage is a 3.6-kilometre trek through Maracas, a course change necessitated due to traffic issues on the Lady Young Road in Morvant.
There will also be action this evening from 7 p.m. in the King George V Park dash circuit race.
Abraham told the Express yesterday that the Tour fills two purposes: he gets to see his family and friends, and at the same time, there’s no place like racing at home.
“It’s one way of being to able to do those things, and I like just competing here,” Abraham said. “At the same time it’s a win-win situation. I get to come home and race as well as spend time (with family and friends).”
Abraham has had good returns this year, with his high point being victory in the Tour of Quebec, where he nabbed three of the four stages, including the 65-kilometre criterium final stage. He subsequently had a third-place finish in Puerto Rico.
The 39-year-old road veteran, though, is cautious about his workload and form, having done a lot of racing this year. He was not too pleased with his returns in his last race in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on the weekend, but after a few days’ rest, he’s hoping better is to come from the local challenge.
The Pan American silver medallist, who is director of Predator Cycling Team at his Atlanta base, still has his eye on the top spot.
“I just kind of have to go with the flow at this point,” he stated. “I didn’t have a great last week of racing, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I know it’s in me, and it’s all about how my body responds at this point. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Stage 1 (Today): Individual Time Trial — Maracas Beach to Maracas Lookout, 9.30 a.m.
Stage 2 (Today): Dash Circuit Race — King George V Park, 7 p.m.
Stage 3 (Tomorrow): Pace & Gas Circuit Race — Point Fortin Circuit, 8. p.m .
Stage 4 (Friday): Speed & Steel Circuit Race — Rienzi Kirton Highway, San Fernando, 7 p.m
Stage 5 (Saturday): Rhythm & Ride Road Race — Port of Spain/Arima/Mayaro/San Fernando/Pointe-a-Pierre, 1 p.m.
Stage 6 (Sunday): Power & Pitch Road Race —- Pointe-a-Pierre/San Fernando/ Debe/Siparia/Palo Seco/Point Fortin/La Brea/San Fernando/ Couva/ Centre Point Mall, Chaguanas, 1 p.m.