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Lyte Switch – British-born cyclist joins Barbados’ CAC squad

Ezra Stuart

Lyte Switch – British-born cyclist joins Barbados’ CAC squad

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A BRITISH-BORN cyclist who was once the European junior match sprint and keirin champion will now don the Barbados colours at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games starting in Mayagez, Puerto Rico next week.
Christian Lyte, a 21-year-old match sprint and keirin specialist, who hails from Manchester, has been selected in a strong ten-member Barbados cycling squad, headed by 2005 World Championship keirin silver medallist Barry Forde.
Lyte, who previously competed for Britain and was a member of the British Cycling Olympic Academy, qualified to represent Barbados because his parents are Barbadians by descent.
“He made a request to represent Barbados because he has lost his position on the UK team, and based on his outstanding record and the fact that he qualified, the BCU (Barbados Cycling Union) has decided to allow him to ride for Barbados,” team coach Colin Forde told WEEKENDSPORT.
In 2007, Lyte was first in the team sprint and keirin at the UCI World Track Championships in Mexico and also won the silver medal in the match sprint at the Junior European Track Championship”.  He finished third at last year’s British National Track Championship in the senior keirin event and has a fastest split of 10.2 seconds over the 200-metre time trial.  
Lyte has been training in Germany with Barry Forde and another Barbadian, Shane Weekes, who is also on the CAC team and will be seeking to medal in the 1 000 kilometre time trial.
With Lyte teaming up with Barry Forde, the five-times double Pan American champion and a past CAC gold medallist, Barbados will be favoured to medal in both the keirin and match sprint.      
Barry’s sibling, Jason Forde, who is also based in Germany, will compete in the points race and road race where Barbados will have a strong hand with the likes of national champion Simon Clarke, Mario Forde, Jason Perryman, and Darren Matthews.
Perryman, who is winding up a training stint in Spain, is also scheduled to contest the points race, while Matthews, fresh from a victory in last Sunday’s National Road Race time trial on the Ermie Bourne Highway, will also tackle the scratch race.
National women’s road race queen Monica Weekes and Denise Crebbin, who has enjoyed an outstanding season on the road and also won Sunday’s road race time trial, will compete in both the road race and time trial.
The first cycling event at the Games will be next Thursday’s road time trial.
SquadMen: Barry Forde, Christian Lyte, Simon Clarke, Jason Forde, Jason Perryman, Mario Forde, Darren Matthews, Shane Weekes.Women: Monica Weekes, Denise Crebbin.Officials: Colin Forde (coach), Charlie Pile (mechanic).