TRINIDAD and Tobago cyclist Nicholas Paul expressed satisfaction with his capture of men’s sprint and keirin gold at the Tissot International Cycling Union Track Nations Cup which climaxed at the Alcides Nieto Patino Velodrome in Cali, Colombia on Sunday.
Competing in his first major event since recovering from a fractured collar bone sustained ten weeks ago, Paul defied odds and powered to sprint gold on the final day, ahead of current Olympic, World and European sprint champion Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands).
Paul defeated the decorated Dutchman in two straight rides. In both races, Paul made the first move to accelerate and used his brute strength and tactical awareness to come up trumps on both occasions.
One day prior, he boldly announced his return to the competitive circuit with a golden performance in the keirin finals.
After his meteoric sprint performance, Paul told Nations Cup media, “It was a hard week of racing. It means a lot to me to be able to come to Cali and win the keirin and sprints. It means a lot, I’m happy.”
At the first Nations Cup in Glasgow, Scotland in April, Paul suffered a broken collarbone after he lost control of his bike and crashed in the men’s sprint semi-final against Australian Matthew Richardson.
Paul’s crash in the second race, after he won the first, forced him to sit out the rest and settle for fourth place overall.
He was, however, pleased to have recovered from injury and be able to execute on the track once more.
In a post to Instagram on Tuesday, Paul wrote, “Cali, Colombia has brought a fantastic conclusion to my 2022 Nations Cup series. It feels great to be racing again and surely some encouraging results coming off an injury.
“God has been good to me. I give him thanks for a speedy recovery. It’s all a work in progress for which I am trusting the process.
“Special thanks to my coach Crag Mclean, the recovery team at World Cycling Center and all whom have been instrumental in this process. Thanks everyone for the love and support.”
Paul suits up in national colours once more at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK from July 28 to August 8.