By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
ROY Colebrooke now serves as the Chef de Mission for Team Bahamas going to the 20th Commonwealth Games next month. But he is also the president of the Bahamas Cycling Federation, which will be sending five cyclists to compete in Glasgow, Scotland, July 23 to August 3.
And while he still waits for the Bahamas Olympic Committee to release the names of those competitors who have been ratified for the athletic team, Musgrove said he is confident that the Bahamas will be well represented.
“This morning, the performances from the cyclists in the timed trials were very competitive, compared to the times that they will need to compete at the games,” Musgrove said. “So we’re pleased with the kind of conditioning that these young men are in and I’m proud of them and I believe that they will represent the country very well.”
As for the other disciplines whose members have been named in wrestling, boxing, swimming and judo, Musgrove said he expects to receive them all in Glasgow after his arrival on July 16 and his only request is that they come prepared to be trained and compete because he will ensure that the environment is conducive for them to do just that.
The cycling manager, Keith Lloyd, is thrilled with the make-up of the team and is looking forward to the trek to Glasgow as the leader of the squad made up of Anthony ‘Biggie’ Colebrooke, Roy Colebooke Jr, Jay Major, D’Angelo Sturrup and Chad Albury. The coach is Byron ‘Turbo’ Musgrove and the trainer/mechanic is Wayne Price.
“We actually have members on this team who will now be like role players. We have sprinters, we have persons who will be responsible for trying to control the peloton,” Lloyd said. “This is a very youthful team, but it’s a lifetime opportunity for them because for a very long time, they are fit and prepared to compete.
“We know that the race is going to be a very competitive race and we will be going up against a lot of seasoned cyclists in the likes of those who are competing in the Tour de France. So we’re not going in to lose. We are going to win. One of our primary goals is to get at least one person to finish in the peloton. That would be a great accomplishment for Team Bahamas.”
The oldest member of the team is Chad Albury, 41. He is a native of Spanish Wells, who spent five years in Saudi Arabia before he was transferred to Perth, Australia in October to continue his work in the oil field. During his spare time, he competed competitively in both countries.
“I am so happy that I got the privilege to be able to compete on this team. We have some bright young talent,” he said. “So at my age, it’s a privilege to be able to ride with these guys.”
As for the expectation of the team, Albury said at least one of them will crack the top ten in the timed trials and at least have a qualifier in the Pan American Games that will be held and eventually the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. As for the road race, Albury said they will have to work together as a team in order to be eligible.
Major is perhaps the most experienced member of the team, having represented the Bahamas on more international teams than any of other competitors. Although this is his first trip to compete in the major senior international meet, he is confident that they will do very well.
“From the start of the race, I know it’s going to be a fast race and a tough race. We have a rolling hill to deal with, so it’s going to be imperative that we stay up front,” Major said. “They normally neutralise the first part of the race and once the flag goes down, the speed intensifies, so we have to be up front to avoid getting into any problems when everybody start to work through the peloton.”
This is a step up for both Major and Colebrooke Jr, who competed together at the Junior Commonwealth Games.
“I think we will do very well and it’s expected that me and Chad will put the team through at the end because we definitely have the most international experience to deal with those last minute kilometres to finish,” Major added. “But I think the team will do very well and we will definitely do something special for the Bahamas.”
Known as the pacesetter on the team, Sturrup said he’s eager to help out in whatever way he can. “I feel strongly about being a part of the team because I will put my heart into it,” Sturrup said. “I’m the pacesetter, so I will have to push the speed and if someone drops off, I will have to go back and pick them up and bring them back into the race. So I have a big job for the team, but I feel confident in the team and I know that we will all do our best because we don’t like losing. We will put our all into it as we represent the Bahamas.”
Colebrooke Jr said he’s just as excited as his team-mates in representing the Bahamas at this international meet. “It’s a great opportunity and I am excited about going with my team-mates,” he said. “I am looking forward to the experience because if I get to go again in the future, I will know what to expect.”
Looking at the make-up of the team, Colebrooke Jr feels it’s the strongest that has ever been assembled to represent the country.
Colebrooke, 18, is the youngest member of the team, but he too is prepared for the challenge ahead of them. “I feel good and I’m very excited. I’ve been doing a lot of training with my teammates and hopefully we can perform at our best,” he said. “The team is very strong with a lot of sprinters, so we will just have to sit back and chase everybody and eventually we will be able to finish right in the thick of things.”
HERE’S a look at the five cyclists to represent the Bahamas at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 23 to August 3.
School: CC Sweeting
Experience: Competing since age 5. Represented the Bahamas on three previous national teams
Expectations: To help place the Bahamas in the top 10
Roy Colebrooke Jr
School: Anatol Rodgers
Experience: Started around the age of 5-6 and has represented the Bahamas on four previous national teams
Expectation: Hope the Bahamas can finish in the peloton
School: CV Bethel
at the age of 12
Expectations: Want the team to surpass all performances from the guys who competed before
Club: JAR Cycling
on 7-8 national teams
Expectation: It’s going to be tough, but confident we will do very well
School: Spanish Wells All Age School
Experience: Competed in both Saudi Arabia and Perth, Australia
Expectations: To make the Bahamas very proud