Riders to explode on Kingston Waterfront
THE Kingston Waterfront will be transformed for the 2016 staging of the Jamaica Cycling Federation (JCF) Kingston Criterium today as parts of Orange Street, Port Royal Street and Ocean Boulevard will comprise the closed-circuit road race event.
With national and regional champion Marloe Rodman and former national cyclist Oneil Samuels among the entrants cycling fans are in for a real showpiece.
Action is scheduled to get under way at 1 p.m., with the featured events slated for a 3:30 p.m. start. Registration will be from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Kirk Finnikin, president of the JCF, hopes to use the event as a catalyst to rejuvenate local cycling.
"It is going to be a cracker. This form of cycling is one of the most exciting and I believe we have everything in place to execute a professionally done event come Sunday," said Finnikin.
"The riders have been buzzing and are anxiously waiting to get out there as the circuit is one of the best in terms of the quality of the roads. This is our first major event of 2016 and we believe it has all the right ingredients to generate enough excitement and interest to spill over into other cycling events for the remainder of the year and beyond," he added.
The JCF's mission is to restore cycling as a premier sporting activity and has been using 2014 Commonwealth Games representative, Rodman, as the flag bearer.
This year, Maliek Byndloss will be looking to fly the flag in his pursuits to represent Jamaica at the Rio Olympics. Byndloss is the current BMX national champion and is considered to be among the world's elite in the BMX category.
The Kingston Criterium itself is a closed-circuit event that will see cyclists racing several laps to complete an event. The events will be contested based on categories, including women's and men's elite, masters' and juniors'.
In addition, there will also be a kids' sprint event, plus an all-comers 'Rambo Race', which will be a cash-prize race for anyone brave enough to enter.
The event is free to the public.