A total of 81 cyclists are in an open camp in Abuja, ahead of the maiden edition of Africa Cup Track Cycling slated to hold in Abuja, the Cycling National coach, Mohammed Bashir, said.
Bashir told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that the Africa Cup Track Cycling would hold from July 26 to July 28.
Bashir said that of the 81 cyclists, 79 were Nigerian cyclists, two were from Republic of Benin and five were expected to join from Ghana.
According to him, I also have two coaches and a mechanic in camp, to ensure that things go on smoothly.
“The Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) invited 93 cyclists from Nigeria for a two-week open national trials, to help us select cyclists, who will represent Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup Track Cycling.
“So far, we have 79 Nigerian cyclists, who are in camp, with two cyclists from Benin Republic.
“Ghana will join the camp today with five cyclists, so we have a very busy camp.
“Benin and Ghana are joining us here for the two weeks camp in Abuja because the Abuja Velodrum is one of the two facilities in Africa for track cycling,’’ he said.
Bashir said the selection camp for the Africa Cup Track was necessary because track cycling was relatively new to countries in the sub-region.
He said that the selection programme would also serve as preparation for other engagements of the federation.
“We don’t need to do any other trails before the Africa Games.
“So we will do our best to ensure that both the elite and junior athletes for male and female, who will be selected to represent us at the Africa Cup Track will also represent the country in other championships,’’ he said.
Speaking after the training session, Mary Samuel, a junior silver medalist at the 2019 Africa Track Continental Cycling Championship in South Africa, said the camp was good for their exposure.
“This is an open camp for both junior and senior cyclists, so it will bring out the best in us,’’ she said.
Samuel thanked the CFN for all the support and encouragement they got in the sports, adding that she was looking forward to the Africa Cup Track.
NAN reports that the two-week camp, which started on Monday at the Abuja Velodrum would end on May 11.