T&T cyclist Paul draws inspiration from tough 2022 season, targets more success after recent win in Germany

By June 07, 2023
Trinidad and Tobago’s Nicholas Paul (centre) shares the podium with German silver medallist Maximilian Dornbach (left) and Frenchman Ryan Helal, after winning the men's sprint gold medal in Germany recently. Trinidad and Tobago’s Nicholas Paul (centre) shares the podium with German silver medallist Maximilian Dornbach (left) and Frenchman Ryan Helal, after winning the men's sprint gold medal in Germany recently. contributed

It is so far so good for top Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Nicholas Paul on the international circuit, and he is determined to keep that rhythm going for the remainder of the season.

While he is well aware that it is easier said than done, Paul has no intentions of overthinking things. Instead, the 24-year-old is focused on the basics –ensuring he is fit, healthy and trusting the process.

Paul's revelation came after he won the Men’s Elite Sprint gold medal at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Class One event in Germany recently, which he believes puts him on course to achieve his targets this year.

The win followed his series of unstoppable performances at the UCI Nation’s Cup in Milton Canada, as well as the ‘Speed Paradise’ and the Carnival of Speed events at the National Cycling Centre (NCC) in Balmain, Couva, all in April.

"My race in Germany was great. I came away with the victory in the sprints and I executed all my other races well, so I’m really pleased with my performance," Paul said.

"So, in terms of my readiness and preparations, I am on track in regard to my set goals, I just have to keep working hard to get faster, stronger and smarter for the rest of my upcoming races," he added.

In any sport, there are always ups and downs and when things are going bad it seems a bit harder, much like Paul experienced during a challenging but successful 2022 season through which he had to exercise patience, persistence and more importantly, smile in the face of adversity.

At the start of that season, Paul crashed and broke his collarbone at the First Nations Cup in Glasgow, Scotland and was out of training and competitions for about two months. 

After recovering from that injury, the Gasparillo-born cyclist went on to win two gold medals at the Third Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia and followed that up with impressive performances at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, setting a new Games Record in the flying 200m Time Trial. He also won a full set of medals gold, silver and bronze in the Keirin, Sprints and 1km Time Trial.

But then came another setback.

"My last event should have been the World Championship in France. However, another unfortunate crash in preparation for the World Championship prematurely ended my 2022 season," Paul shared.

"So, there were a lot of highs and lows last season, but they taught me a lot as an athlete. My mental preparedness in sports has been enhanced and I am very clear that nothing is impossible once you put your mind to it. Hurdles are sometimes a part of life but the lesson is how you rise above your hurdles," he said.

Now that things are back on track and he is currently enjoying a high, Paul is hoping to add more silverware from the Pan American Cycling Championships, the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, World Championships and the Pan American Games, to his collection.

"But my overall goal for this year and beyond is to firstly qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games and secondly, try to win a medal or medals at the Olympic Games for Trinidad and Tobago," Paul declared.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

Related items

  • JCF clears air after non-accredited cyclist, coach attended PanAm Junior Track Champs in Peru JCF clears air after non-accredited cyclist, coach attended PanAm Junior Track Champs in Peru

    Jamaica Cycling Federation (JCF) has distanced itself from the actions of coach Arlington Reid and cyclist Xazivor Anthony Gayle, who it says breached protocols and attended the PanAm Junior Track Championships without proper authorisation.

    The Dr. Wayne Palmer-led JCF in clearing the air, revealed that they were notified by the PanAm Championship organisers on Thursday, that Gayle and Reid arrived in Lima, Peru to participate in the event, but were not accredited.

    Despite receiving a request from Reid, the JCF explained that it did not authorise the accreditation of a Jamaican delegation to participate, as Gayle did not meet the qualification standard.

    “On June 7, 2024, Mr. Reid made a request via email to the Board for Gayle to be considered for selection to participate in the championships based on his recent performance at the DPS event in Trinidad, despite not meeting the qualifying time standards," the JCF clarified in a release.

    “In response to this request, Mr. Reid was advised by email on June 9, 2024, that Gayle was not selected. On the same day, an email appealing the non-selection was sent to the board by Mr. Reid,” it added.

    The JCF pointed out that protocol of the sport’s world governing body, UCI, dictates that the national federation is the only authorising body that can accredit an individual, team, coach, or other support staff to a championship.

    As such, it said Reid’s action is a clear disregard for rules, which has now brought the local governing body into disrepute, as the PanAm organisers did not take the turn of events kindly, and have since escalated the matter to UCI.

    “The Jamaica Cycling Federation is disappointed in the actions and judgement of Mr. Reid, who went ahead and registered an athlete to participate in an event without proper authorization. His actions have caused embarrassment to the federation and have placed the federation in disrepute,” the statement noted.

     

  • On this day 2013: Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy announces retirement On this day 2013: Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy announces retirement

    Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy announced his retirement from competitive cycling 11 years ago, admitting: “I know it is the right decision.”

    The 37-year-old Scot had been contemplating continuing until the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but revealed he was quitting the sport at a press conference in Edinburgh on April 18, 2013.

    Hoy was Britain’s most decorated Olympian after his haul of two gold medals at London 2012 saw him surpass rower Sir Steve Redgrave’s record of five, although he was overtaken by former team-mate Sir Jason Kenny in 2021.

    In explaining his decision, Hoy said: “I think in sport at the highest level you’re dealing in such small margins and you can tell when you’re good but not good enough.

    “It was very emotional coming in there (to the press conference) and I was trying not to watch the video montage with the sad music.

    “I don’t want it to be a sad moment.

    “I want to celebrate it and be happy because I know it is the right decision.

    “It’s a decision that I didn’t take lightly and I thought about it very hard.”

    As well as six Olympic titles, Hoy’s 13-year career featured 11 world titles and two Commonwealth crowns.

    Hoy’s final race was the Olympic Keirin final on August 7, 2012 – on the final day of the London 2012 track programme.

    Following retirement, Hoy pursued his passion for motorsport, including competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours, while he has also written children’s books.

    In February 2024, the 48-year-old announced he was undergoing treatment for cancer.

  • Paul extends rich form with double gold; Browne, Campbell also among T&T's medals at PanAm Track Cycling Champs Paul extends rich form with double gold; Browne, Campbell also among T&T's medals at PanAm Track Cycling Champs

    Trinidad and Tobago’s ace cyclist Nicholas Paul continued his rich early season form as he wrapped up another double gold medal-winning outing at the just-concluded Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Los Angeles, California.

    Paul’s medals were won in his customary events, the men's Keirin and Sprint, and followed his fairly successful outing at the UCI Championships in Hong Kong where he recovered from a two-cycle collision in the Keirin to win the Sprint.

    The 23-year-old again expressed gratitude for the continued support as he represents the twin island republic with much gusto.

    “It is always an honour to represent my country and the Pan American region. Thank you to everyone for all the love and continued support. The Journey continues and the next stop will be the Nations Cup in Milton, Canada. So, I just want to continue putting in the hard work and let it show in my performances,” Paul said.

    In the Keirin, Paul topped Colombia’s Kevin Quintero, while another Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Kwesi Browne copped bronze.

    However, it took a photo-finish to separate Paul and another Colombian Cristian Ortega for the Sprint crown. Paul bettered his South American rival in the first ride before edging ahead in the second ride on the line by millimeters to retain his title.

    Meanwhile, Akil Campbell was also among the medals, as he won a bronze medal in the men's scratch race.

    In other results at the meet, Alexi Ramirez finished eighth in the women's elimination race and in the women's scratch race, while Makaira Wallace and Phoebe Sandy placed 13th and 17th in the women's sprint qualification, respectively.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.