The Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) is expected to name their squad tomorrow for the upcoming Pan American Track Cycling Championship, which pedal off in Mexico on February 5.
TTCF officials yesterday told the Express the squad is expected to be named for the impending competition, after three-day trials were held at Arima Velodrome last week.
Only three cyclists, veteran sprinter Azikiwe Kellar, 19-year-old Kwesi Browne and "Golden Girl" Jodi Goodridge have earned automatic qualifying berths after the TTCF trials, which ended on Thursday.
Kellar (11.269) and Browne (11.336) bettered the 11.350 seconds qualifying mark for the Flying 200m match sprint qualifying event, while also on Tuesday, Goodridge became the first local woman to break the 13.500 seconds barrier, which was also the ladies' automatic qualifying standard when she streaked to a 13.439 clocking.
Other riders in contention for a spot in T&T's team include Parkside's Justin Roberts, whose 11.469 clocking was not too far off the qualifying mark, while Varun Maharaj only just missed the standard in the four-kilometre pursuit and 15km scratch race events. Haseem McLean is another local rider who would have been in contention for a spot on the T&T team, but he missed national trials due to a clashing international event, meaning he could miss out.
Another young T&T rider, 2012 kilometre time trial champion Quincy Alexander, is set to miss "Pan Ams" as well after opting out of trials due to fitness issues. Alexander has only recently returned to training after recovering from injury, and his management team did not want to rush his recovery, according to his uncle/manager Robert Farrier.
"He's back in training, but we thought his level of fitness wasn't good enough to do the trials," Farrier told the Express yesterday. "He is the kilo champion, so we didn't want him to go there with 85 per cent fitness. We thought it was best to pull him out and prepare him for later down in the year."
Farrier said the lanky 19-year-old will be targeting the Easter Grand Prix and Njisane Phillip Three-Day Cycling Festival as the local events that will help him prepare for international competition.
Alexander is also expected to enter the international cycling circuit through Grand Prix and World Cup events in Europe and the US later this year.