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Phillip for TTCF Keep Fit today

By Kern De Freitas

The Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation's (TTCF) Keep Fit series will get a boost for its first installment of the year, as T&T's top sprinter Njisane Phillip suits up to compete for his old cycling club, Rigtech Sonics.

Phillip, who trains for international competition in Los Angeles, USA, is enjoying the benefit of some family time and a break from competitive cycling, will take his first ride for 2013 at the second 'Keep Fit' of the season at Skinner Park today from 5 p.m.

The Express spoke to Phillip this week, and the rider, who only just missed the medal positions at last year's London 2012 Olympics, was happy to return to Sonics colours.

"It's definitely a good feeling to be back," Phillip said. "It was always one of my goals to go back to my home club, and last year when (ormer Sonics coach) Noel (Luces) passed away, I told my dad I want to go back to the club."

Phillip is currently enjoying some well-deserved time at home, which he described as a "great feeling". He's also "thankful" for a little rest after a hectic 2012.

Returning to his old club is just a bonus.

"The youngsters are happy to be there and be by my side, see what I do, so it feels good having them look up to me and riding with them."

Phillip revealed that he is trying to lend support to some of the Sonics riders while he is still in T&T.

"Really and truly the reason I'm going out there is my friend Varun Maharaj is getting ready for trials," he said, "and this is the first time (in a long time) I get to race in the Sonics uniform. We also won juveniles last year…so it's great trying to give [the younger riders] some motivation, showing them I'm not too big to ride a Keep Fit."

Phillip will be using 2013 to sharpen up and prepare for World Cup events later this year as well as the 2014 international season, and the only major local event he has planned to compete in before he returns to his US training base is the Njisane Phillip Three-Day Cycling Festival in April.

"(For) 2013 (I'm) just building. (I'm) looking to put on the extra weight and work on some of my weak areas. Nothing too much. Just using the opportunity to build and 2014 is definitely going to be a big year, with the Commonwealth Games and Worlds."

The action shifts to Arima Velodrome for the third Keep Fit ride tomorrow from 2 p.m., as cyclists prepare for national trials, which are scheduled for January 15-17, also at the Arima venue.

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