SHOWN, from left to right, are cyclist Lorin Sawyer, chef de mission Roy Colebrooke and cyclist Felix Neely.
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#BIRMINGHAM, England — Neither Lorin Sawyer nor Felix Neely lasted past the second round of the men’s road race yesterday at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. They both were dropped off the 100-mile course in Warrick after they were behind the 10-minute mark behind the peloton.
#For both competitors, who also didn’t get to complete the time trials on Thursday, it was a learning experience as they made their debut in a global competition.
#“About three quarters in the race, I started to hear some noise and I could feel my chain getting knocked. I was wondering what was going on because it kind of slowed me down,” Sawyer said.
#“The noise went away so I hung on with a group. But once you lose the break-away group, it’s tough to get back in the race. On the second lap, we went up the hill and the spoke again came loose and it knocked my chain off. I got off the bike and tried to fix it and rode down a few more riders.”
#But it was a little too late as he and the group of riders were pulled from the race that saw New Zealand’s Aaron Gate take the gold in a sprint to the line in three hours, 28 minutes and 29 seconds.
#The silver went to Daryl Impey of the Republic of South Africa in 3:28.29. Finn Crockett of Scotland got the bronze in 3:28.29.
#“You can’t be happy when you lose,” Sawyer said.
#“I’m glad I got the experience to see how much further I have to try and push myself the next time.”
#Sawyer, a resident of Spanish Wells, said the greatest thing that the cyclists lack in the Bahamas is experience.
#“We don’t get the experience these guys get,” he said. “These guys probably compete about 50 times a year. Me and Felix probably do about three or four. That’s a big disadvantage.”
#Neely, on the other hand, got caught in a crash and although he maintained his composure to continue, he got the red flag and was eliminated.
#“I am phyisically fit, but my body didn’t have the power to go out there,” Neely said. “So I got dropped. It was very tough and it was hard. It is what it is. I’m disappointed, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.”
#Neely, the youngest competitor in the competition at age 19, said he will regroup and get himself ready to compete in a race in Grand Bahama at the end of the month and with Sawyer again in the Caribbean Cycling Championships in September in Guyana.
#Chef de mission Roy Colebrooke, the president of the Bahamas Cycling Federation, said he feels the cyclists did the best that they could under the circumstances.
#“Today, this 100-mile road race, Lorin’s had some problems with his bike and once the sweep wagon comes behind you, you have to go off the course,” Colebrooke.
#“In speaking with Felix, he felt the competition was just too much for him at this time. “Again we have two good athletes whom we can build on. We will try to get Felix into Colombia for a year or two as he tries to build and develop in the sport of cycling. We believe that if Lorin gets more exposure, he too can be very competitive in these events.”
#Team manager and coach Kenton Roker said the cyclists performed up to their abilities. “I can tell you, this event opened my eyes as to where we need to go in cycling,” the Grand Bahamian native said.
#“We need sponsorship and our cyclists need to attend more events so that they can be at the level of these cyclists. “They have the potential, but we just need to get them the exposure by competing in three or four events a year of this calibre. We just need corporate Bahamas to sponsor us so we can give these cyclists the exposure that they need.”