T&T cyclist Teniel Campbell completed the double yesterday at the Elite Women Caribbean Road Cycling Championships in Martinique, becoming the first female cyclist in the Caribbean to achieve such a feat.
Defending champion in the Individual Time Trial, Campbell maintained her grip on the crown yesterday, successfully retaining the title she won last year.
Competing among 11 cyclists, she registered an impressive, if not excellent, time of 25:47.49 to confirm her pedigree as one of the region’s best.
The day before, she had signalled her intent on a hilly course, covering a distance of 66km in the Road Race.
Campbell kept in the company of the peloton and with approximately 150m to go in the race, the PSL rider pulled away from the pack and charged towards the finish line to win the event which she did not complete last year.
Campbell told the Martinique media following her gold medal in Saturday’s event, “To be honest, I think I won this race with more off my mental abilities than my physical.”
Her success in this championship now means she has secured qualification for the road events at the CAC Games next year. This is a double delight for Campbell, after falling short of her aspirations to win gold in both races last year.
Her assistant coach Desmond Roberts told Guardian Media Sports that he had to foot the entire bill to get Campbell to the event.
“It was really worth it but some members of the federation did not believe that the Teniel could do this.”
He said Campbell’s success is even more impressive as she only arrived in Martinique on Friday night.
Contacted for a comment, T&T Cycling Federation president Robert Farrier, told Guardian Media Sports, the federation hasn’t received its subvention and wasn’t in a position to assist. He went further to note the junior team heading to Barbados in early November for the Caribbean Road Championships also had to foot the bill themselves.
While in Martinique, Roberts, who is also Campbell’s coach at PSL, had a discussion with International Cycling Union president David Lappartient, on Campbell getting assistance to spending sometime training in Europe as she eyes qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Roberts said, “She is very determined and she’s a very hard worker. She was anxious to defend the title.”