National junior cyclist Ryan D’Abreau has thanked a Trinidadian family living in Egypt for their selfless support and hospitality at the Junior Track Cycling World Championships.
They were held in Cairo in September.
D’Abreau made his international debut at the event and gained good experience, although he was eliminated in the men’s sprint 1/16 round and first round repechage of the keirin.
A recent statement he made to the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) documented his journey before, during and after the championships, and credited an Egypt-based TT family – who wished to remain unidentified – for their kindness towards him and national coach/mechanic Elisha Greene.
“I could not believe when I got to Egypt there was a Trini family enquiring about me, so much so, that they were even given complimentary tickets to attend my races since I was the only person there from the Caribbean.
“This felt great. I had my own cheering team in Egypt. As they say, you can always find a Trini anywhere you go,” D’Abreau wrote.
He said the family checked on them continuously, bought them an adapter, water and even took the pair to see the Pyramids and camel-riding.
The Arima Wheelers cyclist celebrated his 18th birthday in Egypt and lauded his foreign-based Trinidadian well-wishers for taking him to the mall and treating him to rolled ice cream; sweetened rolls of smooth, semi-solid ice cream.
He added that they even came to all his events and since he returned home, they remain in close contact.
On his performances at the meet, D’Abreau dubbed the experience “a bitter-sweet one” with “a lot of ups and downs,” although he was grateful to have made his international debut.
D’Abreau said he tried to assess his opponents and kept comforting himself that he would be able to match up to their level.
“Despite my lack of experience, lack of racing for the past 18 months, and at least four interruptions to my training programme; and to top this off, I trained hard for indoor racing and here we were with an outdoor track with lots of breeze. .I was determined to give this my all,” he said.
He said Greene ensured he kept calm and confident for the opening men’s keirin race. He placed second, but only the top finishers of each heat automatically advance, and he had to vie for a spot in the next round via repechage. There, he was placed third and was eliminated.
“A bit disappointed but I felt good about my effort,” D’Abreau said.
In the sprint event, anxiety crept over him and he strayed from the game plan.
“I forgot our plan, so I bolted on the front straight rather than the back as we planned. I rode my heart out but the cyclist from Kazakhstan got the better of me just about on the line. Tuff luck but placing 20th overall has certainly given me a lot of encouragement.”
D’Abreau said he was congratulated by several international coaches on his debut. He felt he was on par with the competing cyclists but the setbacks clearly hampered his earlier training .
He credited his local supporters, his new fans in Egypt, Greene’s “unbelievable” guidance and support and the TTCF.
“I have learned a lot from this experience and this I am sure will help me in the future. Looking forward to greater things,” he closed.