Tour of T&T the Unity Bicycle Race, dubbed 'Tour De France of the Caribbean' will peddle off tomorrow at the San Fernando Hill, Circular Road. The event is being held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Independence. Local cyclist Emile Abraham and Colin Wilson is set to line up in stage one titled the George Terry Stage 1km Hill Time Trial on San Fernando Hill. Stage two, the Noel Luces Stage Circuit Race, will begin at 7 pm at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) South Building, Rienzi Kirton Highway in San Fernando. The race will include stages in both Trinidad and Tobago with each stage named after former cycling icons. The first prize will include a Nissan March motor car. The first home-based cyclists will receive a Fuji road bike courtesy Bike Inn Valued at $20,000. Cyclist Gene Samuel and Abraham were involved in planning and mapping the reace course. A number of cyclists from Germany arrived on Monday. Team CCN, one of the top cycling clubs with a full team of five cyclists and two officials along with Germany's Ur-Krostizer Univega, is also participating. Other competing teams will be the United States Columbia, Jamaica, New Zealand and Denmark are among the few. The race will be the first 10-stage event to be held in the Caribbean.
T&T's Rossetti Devo Cycling along with Team Trek will be competing among the invited guest. All stage winners will receive hampers of GNC live well products. Leaders in various categories will be awarded. Some 1,000 members of the public participated by riding with the competitors during the Tribute Ride on Monday. Registration forms are available at GNC Live Well outlets, Trinicity Mall, Gulf City Mall West Mall and Price Plaza. Former national olympic cyclists Roger Gibbon and Gene Samuel were on hand to lead off the Tour of T&T, Jubilee Tribute Fun and Fitness Ride. The race took place on Monday morning, participants began the first leg of the ride at the Arima Velodrome at 7 am. They proceeded down the Arima old road onto the Highway and ended at the Financial Complex on Independence Square where there was a 20-minute intermission before they continued back up the highway to end at the Arima Velodrome.
Originally carded for last Sunday, the race was moved to Monday in respect to the Muslim community, who observed Eid ul Fitr. This ride was open to all cyclists, registered, unregistered and pleasure riders and all types of bikes. This was a tribute to former cyclists Roger Gibbon, Samuel, Maxwell Cheeseman, Leslie King (deceased), the new stars Njisane Phillip, Quincy Alexander and all former and present national cyclists.
Officers of the T&T Regiment, the Police Service and the Red Cross were on hand to escort the race to ensure the safety of all cyclists. The organising committee extended its gratitude to all its corporate citizens who have supported the venture. These also include Bluewaters, Bike Inn, Petrotrin, Trinweld, Cyrtoen, all helping to make this project a success. The Organising Committee also hosted a 50th Jubilee Thanksgiving Interfaith Service on Saturday at the St Paul's Anglican Church, San Fernando. Member of Parliament for San Fernando West and Minister of Public Administration, Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan addressed the congregation.
First week schedule
Stage one: George Terry Stage 1km Hill Time Trial San Fernando Hill Circular road, 7 am
Stage two: Noel Luces Stage Circuit Race (Start and Finish) NAPA Building, Rienzi Kirton Highway San Fernando, 7 pm
Stage 3: Leslie King Stage Circuit Race (Start and finish) Arima Veldrome, 7 pm
Stage 4: Laurie Rogers Stage 85km Road Race, Chaguaramas to Port of Spain to Toco, 1 pm
Stage 5 1pm Nathan Hajal Stage 110km Road Race, Port of Spain to San Fernando via the Highway back to Lady Young look out, 1 pm