T&T qualify Sprint, Keirin spots in World CupGary Acosta
Tuesday, September 15 2015
The 2015/2016 UCI World Cup Series features three stops in Santiago de Cali, Colombia (October 2015), Cambridge, New Zealand (December 2015) and Hong Kong, China (January 2016). As part of the UCI process, countries were required to qualify for the UCI World Cups via the UCI Eligibility Ranking.
This Eligibility Ranking took into consideration the events of Sprint, Keirin and Omnium contested at National Championships, UCI Class 1-3 Events (otherwise known as Grand Prix) and Continental Championships between September 7th 2014 and September 14th 2015. In addition, the Sprint and Keirin events, only a cyclist’s top 5 placings were counted towards their ranking while in the Omnium, a cyclist’s top 3 placings.
After a gruelling and highly competitive year, T&T has qualified two spots, one spot each in the Sprint and Keirin events for the upcoming World Cups. The exploits of Njisane Phillip and Kwesi Browne respectively in these events have almost single-handedly earned T&T this berth. Browne's bronze in the Keirin at the CAC Games in November last year to Phillip's two silvers in the Pan Am Games and Pan Am Championships respectively in July and September this year coupled with the first ever UCI sanctioned National Championships in Trinidad & Tobago, all had critical roles to play in TTO's World Cup qualification.
Varun Maharajh, T&T's top endurance cyclist fell an agonising 3 points short of securing qualification for his home country in the Omnium event. A fine display in the Men's Omnium saw Maharajh finish on 171 points total in his Eligibility Ranking, which placed T&T 25th. However, the top 24 countries were selected to participate in the annual series.
An independent ranking system from the World Cups will now be created in order to determine the countries who will qualify for the UCI World Championships to be held in London, England in March 2016. Consequently, the World Cups and World Championships are the last 4 events for T&T cyclists to gain valuable points towards their Rio2016 Olympic qualification.
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