Dominican-based Bram Sanderson is set to make history when he becomes the first Dominican to participate in cycling at the Commonwealth Games.
Sanderson who is from the village of Wesley is one of the top riders in the newly launched sport in Dominica.
He spoke with the Dominica Olympic Committee Media Team following a training session. He said despite a bit of tiredness from jet lag, he had started his preparation by doing most of the things that he could do for himself and was now training with a Kenyan coach.
“I’m now training with the Kenyans. Yeah, it’s a privilege; it’s an honor. My coach now is David Kinja…..most of us might not know but in history, he has been the first cycle coach for the world’s number one, Christopher Froome and it’s an honor for me to be part of his teachings and to absorb as much as I can absorb,” Sanderson stated. “I’ve accepted to be with him until my competition has come. So, I’m in good hands, I could say, just willing to learn. So, I have to be humble and willing to do my best.”
He described the Australian experience as “wonderful” citing similar climatic conditions as in Dominica but said as far as riding conditions are concerned, the Australian course is much quicker than in Dominica as most of Australia is flat and the roads are much smoother.
“But, in my favour, the course that we are riding has a few hills. They start about seven percent and peak about twelve percent gradient. Each of them is just about 500 metres long but in the course, both time trial and the road race, there are about three hills – two in the time trial and three in the road race. So, I have some comfort so far, you know, knowing that it has some hills but you don’t know how they’re gonna execute but I’m quite pleased to see that in the course, there is a bit of hills that I can take advantage of.”
Sanderson, who only took part in competitive cycling for the first time in 2015, had prior to that never envisaged representing Dominica in an international cycling competition. However, he credits his participation in Dominica’s first cycling triathlon and the Tour de La Dominique for helping him to discover his potential as a top Dominican cyclist and to develop a greater interest in the sport.
“So now that the opportunity has emerged, it’s a blessing. I consider myself to be fortunate and privileged to be the one going forward for Dominica in the sport. I’m giving nothing but my best, my heart and I think that is what it takes. It not, I’ll find out what it takes to be as a real cyclist to move up to a professional and I’ll give it ’cause I’m committed to be something more than myself. It’s more than just Bram, it’s more or less Dominica and the youth. It is a mission”
A mission, he said, which is aimed at promoting cycling so that it can inspire the youth and provide the opportunities that will help them acquire a sense of focus and a sense of hope.
“So this is my venture and hopefully coming from the Commonwealth Games, hopefully, I can have a little bit of experience and guidance in terms of direction where to commit myself and take this cycling a bit further in my country.”
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4 -15 in Carrara, Australia.
Below is Sanderson’s full interview with Press Attache of the Dominica Olympic Committee Media Team, Garvin Richards.