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Cycling: Kinja, Nyaruri aim for honours in Glasgow

SPORTS By Dennis Okeyo | July 13th 2014
Suleiman Kangangi and Paul Ariko (right) leads Team Kenya road race cycling team to commonwealth Games during the training session in Kandara on 10-07-2014.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

It will take speed and tact for Kenya's Commonwealth Games cycling squad to bring home medals from Glasgow in Scotland, early next month.

The riders will line up in two categories at the 20th Commonwealth Games that runs from July 23 to August 3 – the mountain or off-road and the road race.

The Glasgow showdown will be the first time for Kenya to enter the Mountain Bike riders. 14 riders; seven men, seven women and three officials, will fly Kenya's flag.

"We have the required techniques and pacing strategies to hunt for the medals," said team captain Joyce Nyaruri, who finished fourth at the All Africa Games in Maputo in 2011.

"I have learnt from the previous mistakes that denied me a medal at the Africa Games. And I will make amends in the Mountain Bike categories. I am set for strongest opposition for from New Zealand, France and Australia riders," Nyaruri told FeverPitch during their training session along Thika-Muranga road on Thursday.

Anthony Muite, who competed in the 2013 World Mountain Bikes Championship in China, said: "As a nation, we are heading somewhere in cycling. We are ready to fly our flag in Glasgow."

Kenya will present women riders for the first time to the games. Head coach Johnson Ciugu is hopeful of podium finish. "We have the stamina to compete at the highest level. Our women have  trained well. We aim for top finish," said Ciugu. "We chose Thika for geographical reasons. For mountain bikers to do better, they need difficult terrains like Witethie."

David Kinja, an experienced cyclist in the squad, will line up in road and individual races.

Paul Ariko and Suleiman Kangangi are another stars expected to do as proud as Team Kenya departs to Scotland next Tuesday. - [email protected]

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