–US-based cyclist also has eyes on National title
FORMER National cycling Champion, Raynauth Jeffrey, is putting in the leg-work to not only win this month’s National Cycling Championships, but to medal at the Caribbean Championships, which will be held next month in Cuba.
The US-based Guyanese is optimistic of an overall victory when he competes at the three-stage Nationals, which is scheduled to take place on May 22 (his birthday), May 23 and May 30. The upcoming championships has special meaning to Jeffrey and winning it is not just a step to represent Guyana again at the international stage. According to the 26-year-old, it is about proving himself to the naysayers.
The 2017 national champion said that for several years he was not considered for the national team, despite him performing at a high level. During this time, it took every ounce of his determination to not quit the sport.
“Now that we got a new president (Linden Dowridge) of the Guyana Cycling Federation, I hope things change for the better.”
NOT OVER CONFIDENT
Jeffrey said that although some of the big names of yesteryear have either retired or are in their twilight stages, there are several quality riders who will present stiff competition. One such is his teammate at the Foundation Cycling New York Inc. Jamual John, who could also take the title: “\It will be a battle”, said Jeffrey
Jeffrey, a two-time national road race champion, who is also a seven-time national time-trial champion of Guyana, is not just talking the talk. Since January this year, he has been training. It started with indoor work due to the weather in New York and then it blossomed into outdoor activities.
“I’ve been in the gym in the off-season, I’ve been indoor training as much as possible, I’ve been trying to get in as many hours as possible. Around March-April, we started to go on the road, putting in more hours.” He then began working with his coach. “My coach is trying to get me in shape for the Guyana National Championships and the Caribbean Cycling Championships.” The training and practice sessions have been paying off. Two weeks ago, Jeffrey won the Beach Channels Time Trials, while over the last 14 days, he has also registered a number of top finishes in other NY competitions.
His latest was a top 10 finish in the Pro-level criterium race last weekend. He said that due to the sharp turns, he slowed down considerably just to ensure that he stayed injury-free. “I should have done better, but I did not want to take too many chances, the course is tight, it’s dangerous; if you crash, something worst is going to happen.” His current form has boosted his desire to excel, especially since he was on a year-and-a-half hiatus, prior to last month’s re-start to the sport.
“Winning is always something that motivates you more, it drives you to train harder, it gives you that extra energy to go harder. Losing is not an option for me. I always want to win and I always train hard. Winning back my first race reminded me of what I’m capable of and what I can do.”
He then sent a message to the local cyclists: “I’m training very hard at the moment and I’m coming to win.”
Jeffrey and nine other short-listed cyclists will use the National event and next weekend’s Three-Stage Independence race as trials. The five best finishers will represent Guyana in Havana, Cuba.