PANAJI: Endurance cycling has become quite popular in Goa with an increasing number of people taking to long-distance rides across the state and beyond. Now though, a group of youngsters are training hard for the racing teams being promoted by popular clubs like Margao-based Xaxti Riders! Jewel Howe Viegas is on their racing team and the youngster is sweating it out in pursuit of the opportunity to represent Goa at the National level.

At a recent Team Time Trial (TTT) at Anmod Ghat, Jewel’s team finished agonisingly short of the top position. Nevertheless, the 22-year-old realised the work needed to be still done, to be the best in Goa.

“TTT was very hard, but at the same time I felt motivated and decided not to give up and to show my potential, give my best!,” remarked Jewel in a chat with “I had trained and worked hard for the 1st position. (But) sometimes, things do not go as per the expectations. Yes, I got disheartened at first; but hey, something is better than nothing,” added Jewel, who is pursuing Electrician course at ITI Borda.

Jewel from Chinchinim, started riding along with other boys from the village during school days. Starting this year though, he got seriously into cycling and went on to clinch 24th place at the all-India Firefox Firestorm endurance competition.

“Naturally, I’m a sprinter but after training with Albion Albuquerque and Rohan Ferrao, I got into climbing as well,” revealed Jewel, who was recruited by ‘Xaxti Racing’ after his first ‘Crit’ race.

Jewel currently trains under Placid Fernandes, who is the coach of Xaxti Racing. “In my initial stage, Rohan Ferrao taught me the basics of cycle racing. Later, I met Albino Albuquerque, who trained me to get the best out of me and helped me go achieve all my goals,” said Jewel. “My main goal is to participate in the Nationals and get a podium finish,” he emphasised.


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