Caribbean championships ‘eye-opener’ for young cyclist

Josh Weaver made his debut for the Cayman Islands at the 2018 Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships in Bermuda earlier this month, describing the event as “a real eye-opener” and eager to return to similar competitions in the years ahead.

The 16-year-old was Cayman’s only representative at the 11-12 August event, finishing down the field in both the time trial and road race.

“The experience was a real eye-opener,” he said in a brief interview with “I learned a lot and it was a great experience for the future.”

It was more than just the top junior cyclists from across the Caribbean that Weaver had to cope with, as he explained. “Unlike Cayman, Bermuda has a very hilly terrain. There were a lot of hills that a lot of the riders were accustomed to. Going down the hills, I was a little freaked out at the speed,” he said.

Josh’s father, Chris, accompanied him on the trip. “I was extremely proud that my son competed for Cayman. It was an eye-opener, as Josh said. The level of competition was excellent,” he said.

Weaver is one of three junior cyclists, along with brothers Nathanial and Matthew Forbes, who compete on the local circuit. “We hope the Cycling Association is able to attract more youngsters,” said the elder Weaver, adding “we’d love to take a team next time and make our mark and compete.”

He said this could be the rebirth of the sport at the junior levels to restore the same level of pride that existed previously. “I think the success that was there in the 80s and 90s by the late-great Ted Gray, it just proves that we were able to compete at CARITA and the Olympics even…so hopefully this is something that could start the revitalization of cycling for the youth,” Weaver said.

Also accompanying the Weavers was veteran cyclist Michele ‘Mitch’ Smith.

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