Kluivert Mitchel ready to rep Saint Lucia at World Juniors

By Terry Finisterre

(SNO) – The Junior Track World Championships are getting underway this weekend, and among the scores of young riders at the Aigle World Cycling Center will be a pair of Saint Lucians, Jessie Mentor and Kluivert Mitchell.

The latter, who just turned 18, was recently featured in Le Temps magazine.

The World Cycling Center is home to 40 to 50 talents from countries around the world. A dozen of them participate until Sunday at the Junior World Championships. Kluivert, tall and lithe, will on Monday fly home to Saint Lucia, a small English-speaking Caribbean island just south of Martinique, but by then, the young man of 18 years intends to show what he is capable of. He has never worked as hard as in recent weeks. Since the beginning of June, he has been one of the world’s talents invited by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to an intensive course at the foot of the Alps.

Since its inauguration in 2002, the World Cycling Center serves both as a headquarters for the International Federation, as a training base for many Swiss and foreign athletes, and as a performance centre for the most promising young people from countries that can not compete.

“We bring riders from all over the world, but especially from developing cycling nations,” explains Frédéric Magné, WCC director, in his office overlooking the mountains. In France, Italy or Spain, riders have the necessary resources to develop. We try to help riders from Africa, Asia, Central and South America. ”

In fifteen years, the World Cycling Center has welcomed some 1500 young people aged 17 to 24 from 140 countries. There are constantly between 40 and 50 in Aigle, all disciplines combined (road, track, BMX, mountain bike), and they remain between one month and two years. Experience seems to pay: former trainees cumulate more than 50 world titles, ensures Frédéric Magné.

Kluivert is anxious. Amongst the chunky South Koreans with huge thighs and the tiny South Americans, his 196-centimeter stands out. His name, derived from a famous Dutch fooballers, marked him for the beautiful game, his height for the basketball courts. But in Saint Lucia, the young giant has never really dreamed of either the Champions League or the NBA. “I tried basketball, of course,” he drawls. But you know, with these balls you keep twisting your fingers. Naaah, it was not for me. ”

His thing was always the bike. He started with BMX and mountain biking before, one day, trying his luck on road cycling. Like that. Alone. Certainly not pushed by his parents, strangers to this sport, even less inspired by local heroes who do not exist. “Actually, my mother was even opposed to me riding a bike, because she was worried about me,” he slips, repressing a smile. And in Saint Lucia, we have to be 20 to compete … If there ever was a great rider at home, we never spoke to them.”

So Kluivert Mitchel thinks it could be him. On the track or on the road, which latter is his preference. Like his idols Peter Sagan and Tom Dumoulin, he sees himself shine on the Tour de France. “I’ll probably be there someday,” he says distractedly as he looks at his cell phone.

For many, they are not so much at home. Of all the participants at the World Junior Track Championships, which run until Sunday, there are more than a dozen from eight countries far from being major cycling nations (Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, Chile, South Africa, Algeria) who have come to live on Vaud soil for a few months. Before landing at Aigle, Kluivert Mitchel had never rode on a wooden velodrome, and he is not the only one.

“In South Africa, we do not have a real culture of track cycling,” says Ricardo Broxham, restoring the wick that falls on his eyes. I come from a club that is trying to develop it, but we do not have a wooden velodrome either, and what I’m looking for here are the exceptional training conditions. ”

All cohabit with athletes from other specialties on the My Stay property, a former 90-bed girls boarding school converted into a talent nursery. “It’s a nice place to have a good time together, but where there is a lot of respect for each other’s privacy,” says Catalina Soto. “There is sometimes time to play a board game,” says Kluivert Mitchel.

“The cultural mix is exceptional because of the diversity of trainees’ origins,” says Frédéric Magné. Our work is very rewarding, because we train, we develop, but we also educate. “From the prevention against doping to the requirements of the high level and the specificities of the road in Switzerland, all topics are spent. But sometimes cultural shock leads to incongruous situations, as when a few trainees are arrested as they prepare to jump on the highway. They did not have the experience of lanes prohibited to cyclists.”

All of the young interns we met with assure us that they will not be the same athletes after they come to Aigle, as they have discovered about themselves, about training methods and a lot more.

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This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

5 comments

  1. Mr Sports lover opportunities are there for everyone the difference between the member of his team and other cyclist when the opportunities open their eyes they take advantage of it ..they don't complain they make the best of what St Lucia has to offer ..when. The Cuban coach was here no one didn't want to train with him because they complained that his training was too hard ..they Mon repos team saw the opportunity to train and get stronger didn't complain... Mr Cyril has gone out of his way to help develop the sport of cycling instead of trying and fight him down if u have a problem with jus consult him face to face about it ..because all you doing is causing damage to the sport with those irrational statements of yours ... On the other hand the 2018 OECS champion is very talented and strong but lacks respect for people in high authority

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  2. Congratulations to your young cyclists, Kluivert best of luck for your races this weekend; I can see you as a pro rider competing on the world tours in the years to come.
    I would like to thank Cyril for your tireless work at promoting cycling in St Lucia, and organising so many local events over the years. Thank-you Cyril.

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  3. Congrats to the young men who will represent us. However it's tune Mr Cyril Mangal step down. There are alot of talented cyclist here but if you're not part of his club you dont get opportunists. Imagine you insulting your 2018 OECS champion .

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    • You are ridiculous!! The man has provided lots to the sport of cycling!! Tell me sports lover who will be able to invest as much time & effort into developing cyclist year after year as a volunteer without gaining a dollar in compensation??? You are a bit unfair with your mediocre statement. I'm sure you & the others who ask that he step down would kill the sport of cycling here on Saint Lucia. How many bicycles have you been able to provide to the youth???? How much time have you taken away from your family??? This sport is very demanding for everyone who invest time into it yet you have so many ungrateful jokers like the 2018 oecs champion who constantly insist on biting the hands who try help him. Recently I spoke to the joker himself & he is somehow attracted to the life of guns .how can you take someone like that serious & invest any time into them when they fail to even try help themselves

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    • i think that comment is personal .... no more jet blue for me OECS winner ....He bit the hands that fed him .. number one rule never bite the hands that feed you

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