80 to battle for US$12,000 prizes at Jamaica cycling classic Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

More than 80 cyclists are expected to face the starter in the three-day Jamaica International Cycling Classic (JICC) which begins in Montego Bay this Friday, March 31.

Prizes valued at US$12,000 (approximately J$1.8 million) will be up for grabs for cyclists in several categories for the exciting event which is in its second year.

At least seven teams from overseas are expected for the JICC which will be broadcast on the Caribbean’s leading provider of sporting content, SportsMax.

Race director Carlton Simmonds.

“We are looking forward to three days of exciting cycling”, said Carlton Simmonds, race director and founder of Simmonds High-Velocity Cycling Club (SHVCC), which is organising the event.

Speaking at the JICC’s launch at the offices of Toyota Jamaica in Kingston on Friday, Simmonds said he expected riders from the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, and St Vincent, and the Grenadines for the event.

“Last year there were two international teams and a number of other persons who came in for the event. Since then the number of persons wanting to come to Jamaica for the event speaks volumes”, Simmonds said.

Forty-eight riders took part in the classic last year.

Elon Parkinson, regional communications manager at Digicel said it was in the company’s DNA to spot opportunities from very early and to support them from “grassroots to greatness” as was the case in athletics.

“At Digicel, we are able to support the endeavors of those persons that dream big so that Jamaica holds its prominence on the global sporting scene”, Parkinson said.

He said with the “new kind of energy” that the JICC organizers brought to cycling “we had to be part of this experience as well”.

Natalie Campbell, marketing manager of broadcast partner SportsMax noted that last year marked the first time that cycling was being broadcast across the region in 26 territories. She said this year’s event would be available on all its platforms.

Toyota Jamaica’s managing director, Tom Connor, said he was happy to see the regeneration of cycling in Jamaica. He said the sport of cycling was in keeping with Toyota being “a mobility company”.

Simmonds said the JICC provides an opportunity for local cyclists to earn qualification points for international competition, and to provide world-class competition for local cyclists who were unable to travel abroad.

Dr Wayne Palmer, president of the Jamaica Cycling Federation said cycling in Jamaica was gaining popularity following a dip during the pandemic.

“We got eight medals from the last Caribbean track championships last year which was the first for one Caribbean team. We also have two cyclists on the international scene – Dahlia Palmer and Malik Reid – who are trying to garner points for the next Olympic Games”, Dr Palmer said.

He said the JICC would help to prepare the Jamaican team for the Pan American Championships to be held in Panama in late April.

The course over the three days traverses parts of Montego Bay in St James, Falmouth, and Duncans in Trelawny, and Discovery Bay in St Ann. There will be prizes in the categories of Elite, Juniors, Female, Masters over 40, and Super Masters over 50.

Registration for the event closes on March 30.