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Keiana Lester pedalling for stardom
Arima Wheelers’ Keiana Lester is among a new generation of women cyclists set to make a big impact in the next few years. Following in the footsteps of others such as Jodi Goodridge and Denise Francis, the 14-year-old has established herself as one of the country’s brightest prospects with a string of eye-catching performances over the last year. “I always loved cycling because it’s a fun sport and it keeps you fit and active,” she said recently. “One of my goals for next year is to be able to ride for T&T internationally.” After joining the Wheelers as a nine-year-old, Lester became a regular at local cycling events as she gradually worked her way up the ranks in her age group. In 2011, she announced herself as one for the future by winning the Junior category at the National Championship Road Race, the OWTU Labour Day Road Race, the La Romaine Road Race and the Palo Seco Games. She was also named Most Outstanding in her division at the Easter Grand Prix.
Looking back on her achievements, the Bishops Anstey High School East student cites the Grand Prix as her most satisfying moment yet. “It felt great because it took me a long time to win that race. When I look at my performances last year, I used to come third and fourth a lot and I said to myself, ‘I can’t do that anymore. I will try to win.’ And that’s what’s happened.” Lester credits her friends and family for lending encouragement and keeping her on track. She is particularly thankful for her aunt Claire Orr, who believes that the sky is the limit for the youngster. “I think Keiana will do very well because her performances have been really improving in recent times. She trains hard and loves the sport passionately.”
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