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BARBADOS - GOLD Pan American Cycling Championships

Reproduced compliments of The Nation News

Friday 29, April-2005


Yesterday was national Heroes’ Day and one of the modern-day “champions” delivered a golden tribute to his forefathers.
Barry Forde, the No.1 cyclist in the Western Hemisphere, rode to the top again when he won the gold medal in the men’s sprint event at the Pan American Cycling Championships in Argentina.
It was his second gold, having won the keirin on Tuesday.
“All Barbados deserves this medal. It’s for the heroes who have done the island proud and who inspired me in the past. It’s for all the people who work in the cane grounds and all the people who work hard to send their children to school,” Forde said after the heroic performance.
“I was not down to do this one [sprint] but the Cycling Union asked me to give them one [medal] and I delivered. It’s for them and the ‘craftsmen of our fate’.”

It was not easy for the strapping six-footer even though he went unbeaten in the four rounds of the event. In the semifinals he made light work of Michael Blantchford from United States. In the final Forde met another American, Kevin Belz, and he again won in two rides.
“It’s never easy at this level, but I’m always confident and that goes a long way,” said Forde. “I toyed with them a bit and let them go out first. After a while I came from behind to dominate the race. That’s my style.
“I was up from 7:30 this morning so that made it a bit tougher. But all worked well and I’m pleased right now. I had a point to prove. I lost three medals in 2003 [due to positive tests for a banned substance] so I had to make up.”
Last month Forde became the first Bajan to win a World Championships medal when he copped a silver in California.


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