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THE ANNUAL Easter International Grand Prix, under the theme “Where Speed Meets Paradise”, will be staged today and tomorrow at the Arima Velodrome.

The Grand Prix, organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF), will see action beginning at 5 pm each day.

TT CF president Robert Farrier, during a media conference at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo yesterday, revealed that there will be anti-doping testing at the event.

“One of the highlights for this event is, for the first time, having anti-doping at a cycling event in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Farrier.

“I want to thank the TTO C (Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee) for coming on board with us and for making all the arrangements for us. That is a very important part of sports and fair play is very important in sports.” Trinidad and Tobago will have a five-member team for the international races - Quincy Alexander and Keron Bramble (sprints); Varun Maharajh, Akil Campbell and Sheldon Ramjit (endurance).

There will also be cyclists from a number of countries for the twoday meet including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Barbados, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, Guyana Mexico, Suriname and the United States.

Farrier, referring to the tournament schedule, noted that there will be 52 events today and 49 tomorrow.

“We expect that the Arima Velodrome will be packed,” he stated. Also speaking at yesterday’s launch was Brian Lewis, president of the TTO C.

“As we seek to make sports a viable industry in Trinidad and Tobago, these types of events are very important,” said Lewis. “Cycling has had its ups and downs but in recent years we’ve seen a growth in participation in Trinidad and Tobago.” The Grand Prix has been in existence for over four decades and Lewis stated, “the Cycling Federation and the cycling fraternity should be credited for the fact that they’ve been able to keep this event going for such a long time.” He added, “I wish the Cycling Federation and all the cyclists a safe and exciting two days .” With regards to the yet-to-beopened Cycling Velodrome in Couva, Lewis admitted, “I was saying to the president (Farrier), maybe next year, the event will be taking place at the world-class Cycling Centre that we all wait with urgent anticipation.”