Matthews going at a pace
CYCLING’S TOP JUNIOR continues to rub shoulders with the world’s best.
Teenage phenom Darren Matthews narrowly missed out on reaching the omnium final two weeks ago in his first ever UCI World Cup event in Cali, Colombia, to cap a series of breakout performances in 2010.
Consisting of five events – scratch race, points race, 300-metre time trial, individual pursuit and time trial – Matthews barely fell short of advancing to the finale, coming 14th to miss the final cut by two points.
It was far better than what he completed in the keirin though, as the transcendent teen bowed out of the event in the first round before failing to advance from the repechage as well.
“I just went to see how I stand against the best in the world,” said Matthews of his debut World Cup appearance.
“It was a learning experience and I didn’t exactly train specifically for it, but I was still able to hold my own.”
This recent outing comes as the end of a breakout year for Matthews that saw the talented teen register breakout performances in debut appearances at both the Central American and Caribbean Games and the Commonwealth Games.
In July at the CAC Games, Matthews finished the scratch race in sixth before coming just two seconds behind the road race champ in Puerto Rico.
Matthews then followed up that effort with ninth and 14th place finishes at the Commonwealth Games’ scratch and points races respectively in Delhi, India.
“My main goal for 2011 would have to be Pan Am championships and then I will use that to qualify for the Pan Am Games,” Matthews reasons of his upcoming engagements.
“I may also try another World Cup in Manchester, but depending on funding so right now it’s still up in the air. Once funding comes through I will be able to go train for Manchester and use that to get my fitness up.
“[But] I definitely have to leave Barbados. There’s no question about that. I am an endurance rider and we don’t have any 250 track here so I can’t train at the stadium to go and then compete on a 250 track. They’re two different styles of riding,” he added. (JM)