NICHOLAS PAUL crossed yet another precious milestone in his young career on Friday evening when he obliterated his competition twice in one day to seal gold in the men’s kilometre time trial at the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup, in the Alcides Nieto Patiño Velodrome in Cali, Colombia.
The 22-year-old Trinidad and Tobago rider twice dipped under the one-minute mark over the four-laps over the qualifying and final stages, a feat in itself, upstaging a strong line-up, including Poland’s Patryk Rajkowski, who was second in the qualifiers and earned silver in the final.
Having topped the qualifiers in an incredible 59.378 seconds, one-tenth of a second shy of his national record, Paul was made to wait for last. Yet he looked at ease as he cruised to another milestone victory in 59.994, some 0.246 seconds ahead of the Pole.
It was Paul’s first competitive event since the sprint specialist made his Olympic debut in Tokyo. Paul is the men’s Flying 200-metre world record holder (9.1 seconds).
Akil Campbell made his Nations Cup debut in the men’s elimination race, which took place after press time on Friday. He will race again in the men’s omnium on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Paul would have little rest, as he lines up on Saturday morning in the keirin, followed by the sprint on Sunday. Keron Bramble (keirin) and Quincy Alexander (sprint), will also represent TT.
Participation in this Nations Cup has guaranteed TT a place at the 2021 Track Cycling World Championships, which takes place in France from October 20-24.