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Apr 16, 2018

Commonwealth Cyclists were Class of the Caribbean ‘Down Under’

Most of Belize’s delegation to the Commonwealth Games concluded on Sunday in Gold Coast, Australia, returned to Belize this afternoon. There were no medals to show off, but the athletes who participated in cycling, table tennis, triathlon and athletics say they enjoyed testing their limits against some of the best in the world. The cycling contingent featured flag bearer Alicia Thompson and elite performers Giovanni Lovell, Oscar Quiroz and Nissan Arana, coached by Perry Gibson. While Thompson says she knows she has much more work to do, Gibson said that in the boys’ case, we can console ourselves that we are among the best in our region.

 

Alicia Thompson

Alicia Thompson, Cyclist, Commonwealth Games

“For the time trial, I think it was twenty-five-point-four kilometers, which was about sixteen miles. Unfortunately, I was last in the time trial, but it was a great experience – both events, the road race and the time trial. I know now the hard work that I need to put in, in order to be able to be at that certain level, to participate and compete with those ladies.”

 

Perry Gibson, Cycling Coach

“What we do when we go to these games is we try to be the best in the Caribbean – that is our goal. And in the time trial we were able to do that, albeit in fortieth place, but we were still the best – first and second, and then a guy from Antigua was third from the Caribbean, so in the time trial we achieved what we went there to do. However, in the road race we were badly outmatched; in the nine laps, from the race started, it was a hundred and fifteen riders and the professionals basically pushed the race to break it up and not have any accidents. And despite that we had about five accidents in the first five miles of the race because it was so fast. Our guys, basically Nissan and Giovanni were caught in two crashes; Oscar was more fortunate and he was able to last five of the nine laps before they took him out – because once you fall ten minutes behind, they take you out.”

 

Perry Gibson

Aaron Humes

“As you said, a very high standard of competition. Do we prepare well enough for these kinds of events, because admittedly its once every four years, and our race – I think Cross Country is our longest and that’s still only a hundred and forty-two miles. These guys I don’t think ride that much but they ride much more often and in much harder conditions.”

 

Perry Gibson

“This race was a hundred and five miles. We did a hundred and forty mile Cross Country two weeks ago, but the level is completely different. These are professionals; these are people who are paid to ride and they are full-time cyclists. So in terms of preparing to do this, the preparation for Cross Country allowed us to basically compete at the level of our region – not worldwide, not for the world, we are unable to compete on the worldwide stage. So for the Caribbean, that is basically our goal and I think for the time trial we did that.”

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