The inaugural Tour of Trinidad and Tobago cycling extravaganza, geared to pedal off on Monday, will pit T&T road cyclists against some of the best from Europe as well as North and South America.
Promoted by Anthony "Bike Doctor" Commissiong, in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation, the 10-stage event, first of its kind in the Caribbean, boasts riders from the United States, Denmark, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago.
Germany has committed two units, Ur-Krostitzer Univega and Team CCN, one of its top cycling clubs, with five riders and two officials, while T&T's world ranked road cyclist Emile Abraham and his team Rossetti Devo Cycling Team are also listed to compete.
The Tour, which commemorates the nation's 50th Independence anniversary, pedals off on Monday with the Jubilee, a fun and fitness ride open to all categories of cyclists and members of the public who are age 11 or older.
This 50-kilometre ride starts at 7 a.m. and the first leg takes participants from the Arima Velodrome to the Financial Complex in Port of Spain, while the second leg commences at the Financial Complex and takes riders back to the Arima Velodrome for the finish.
Registration for the Jubilee is free as the ride is being held in tribute to former national cycling greats such as Roger Gibbon, Gene Samuel, Maxwell Cheeseman, Leslie King (deceased) and the new stars Njisane Phillip and Quincy Alexander.
The competitive aspect of the Tour begins with the George Terry time trial stage at San Fernando Hill on Thursday and ends with the Cedric Weekes Stage on September 2, with two of the ten stages being contested in Tobago.
Each stage has been named after a former national cyclist.
Cyclists will be competing for a grand prize of a Nissan March motor car, the biggest ever awarded in a road cycle race in the Caribbean, while the first home-based cyclist to finish will receive a Fuji road bike valued $20,000, courtesy Bike Inn.
Dubbed the "Tour de France of the Caribbean", leaders in various categories will be awarded corresponding jerseys: yellow jersey— overall leader; green jersey—top sprinter; white jersey—Under-23 riders; polka dot—King of the Mountain; red/white/black jersey—leading home-based cyclist.
These jerseys are sponsored by GNC Live Well and stage winners will receive hampers of GNC Live Well products.
Registration forms can be collected at all GNC Live Well outlets, Bike Inn outlets and leading Bike shops.
The organising committee is also hosting an inter-faith thanksgiving service from 4 p.m. today at St Paul's Anglican Church, Harris Promenade, San Fernando.
Those attending the service are asked to wear the national colours of red, white and black.