Time for Abbott to defend title

It is the busiest time of the year for

Cayman’s cyclists and this weekend they are gearing up for the 10-mile National Time Trial Championships.

The event starts at 7am on Sunday 16 October, with cyclists starting one minute apart. The start/finish line will be at Paradise Bar and Grill on South Sound and cyclists will follow an out and back route down South Church Street to the turnaround point just short of the Grand Harbour roundabout.

The time trial is an individual event, often called the race of truth, as it is all about individual ability in the race against the clock. It’s an excellent event for anyone who wants to find out how they stack up against fellow cyclists, while the 10-mile distance is not intimidating.

It promises to draw Cayman’s top cyclists, as well as many triathletes keen to test their form ahead of the Cayman Islands Triathlon 6 November. It also provides a good form test for competitors in the 19-mile Reefathlon time trial on 27 November.

The defending champion, Steve Abbott will face a stiff test but not from Jerome Ameline, who has previously dominated the event, winning it on multiple occasions. Ameline, 36, said: “I’m not planning to do the time trial because I’ve decided to stop competing. Maybe I’m getting too old. My last event was at the Island Games in June and we were well beaten then. I recently bought a house and I’m concentrating on working on that. I intend to do the triathlon though.”

Other serious challenges for Abbott are likely to come from Road Race Champion Marius Deysel and Michelle Smith, as well as triathletes Johan Heath, Henry Streather and Ray Welds, who are all in good form as the triathlon approaches on 6 November. Whether anyone will be able to beat Ameline’s impressive course record of 21 minutes 18 seconds, set two years ago, remains to be seen. Conditions will have to be perfect for anyone to have a chance of getting close to the time.

Among the women, defending champion Caroline Cahill is returning from a serious accident back in June and a remarkable finish at Ironman Switzerland in July, despite her injuries. She suffered extensive injuries to both wrists, legs and chest when hit by a car in Cayman six weeks before the Ironman. Other challengers to the course record of 25:52 set by Justine Plenkiewicz three years ago are Pam Abbott, Donna Harding and Gill Commins, all of whom are training hard for the triathlon and are in good form.

There is likely to be a tough battle for the masters title between defending champion Laurent Weber and his arch nemesis Chris Sutton, although there may be some surprises as the master’s age limit has been dropped from 50 to 40 years or over on race day.

Entry for the event is through online registration via the Cayman Islands Cycling Association’s website, www.caymancycling.com or www.caymanactive.com. Registration will close at 10pm on Friday 14 October. There will be no registration on race day. Anyone experiencing problems with their online registration can e-mail [email protected]

Entry for the event is through online registration via the Cayman Islands Cycling Association’s website, www.caymancycling.com or www.caymanactive.com. Registration will close at 10pm on Friday 14 October. There will be no registration on race day. Anyone experiencing problems with their online registration can e-mail [email protected]

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