Cycling Tour : Imperative Need To Provide Basic Requirements

The excitement across the country in towns that welcomed the just-ended grand Prix Chantal Biya international Cycling Tour of Cameroon showed that the event has following. Apart from the popular acclamation is the fact that the event, which took place this year from 3-8 October, 2022, was in its 22nd edition. Meaning it has resisted this far. Innovative efforts such as starting the race for the first time in Garoua, capital of the North Region and closing it in Meyomessala in the South Region, all contributed in creating more public awareness on the competition. 
With such organizational initiatives, those spearheading to competition have much to their credit. Thus, one would have expected that home advantage should play a role in terms of how local athletes stamp their mark and make their fans happier. Unfortunately, that was not the case this year. Even more, the country has in the past five years been unable to have any of the local athletes mount the podium. In spite of having three clubs this year taking part in the cycling race. SHN Velo Club that has been in the race for so long, the FAP and the National teams which also joined the race all failed to win a single lap during the entire event. Efforts by elite in some localities to award prices to the best Cameroonians along the race itinerary all point to the fact that many people were eager to hear the National Anthem reverberate in the course of the competition. Alas! That has never been the case for years now. So what must have gone wrong? How ready were the athletes from Cameroon before the kick-off? What accounts for the readiness by the officials to feel satisfied with the performances, whereas the country witnessed more glorious moments in the past thanks to its cyclists? How are teams in the country prepared to face experienced challengers from across the globe? By watching the clubs from Cameroon participate in such an international competition as if they were only interested in an Olympic presence suggests an unjustified lack of ambition and determination. 
Receiving cyclists from, France, Slovakia, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Algeria, and so on, the clear message is that several countries find the International Cycling Tour of Cameroon attractive. This equally calls for greater efforts from local teams to be more than ready so as to defend their colours at home. Being unable to do so in the country leaves little chances that they can fly the flag of Cameroon outside. Yet, it is an open secret that no victory in such a competition can be the result of improvisation. 
However, many questions keep running through the minds of some observers on cycling in the country. Where and when do athletes of the different clubs train? How many competitions are organised by the National Cycling Federation in the course of the year? Apart from sporadic participations either at the Burkina Faso or Cote d’Ivoire Cycling Tours which are the other instances during that local cyclists are made to test their talents? Officials who manage various teams on a regular basis might have clearer responses to these worries, but those outside the house are generally anxious to see the results. After all, is it not said that the taste of the pudding lies in eating?  It therefore means that local cyclists “should not only be given food” on the market day. In order to defend their colours at home and abroad, it is imperative to identify areas of weaknesses within the different cycling clubs in Cameroon, draw up victory strategies and ensure the required means to get the athletes perform better and make the country proud are in place. In what looks like a diagnostic view on the reasons behind the debacle of local cyclists in the tour, the President of the Cameroon Cycling Federation said the teams have to prepare their own clubs for major events rather than only waiting for the federation. The likes of Clovis Kamzong Abossolo, Islmael Kemtsop and Artuce Tella who today stand as flag-bearers for cycling in the country, know that the future cannot become bright through conjecture. Cash-prizes which they received from indi...



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