Newly appointed minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare has hailed the Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) for recent strides the sport is making in track cycling which has rekindled interest in its potential for growth.
The Minister gave the commendation when he received Giadomenico Massari in his office Thursday.
The minister who apparently had monitored recent developments in cycling and properly briefed on the performance of the Team Nigeria at Africa Cup hosted by Nigeria, assured Massari of the support of the ministry in sustaining the growth of track cycling and other disciplines of the sport, toward maximizing their potential.
Earlier, Permanent Secretary of the ministry Mr Olusade Olusola had noted the manner Team Nigeria Cyclists last month swept available medal at the maiden Africa Track Championship held inside the Velodrome, upsetting old timers Morocco and Egypt to win the maiden edition.
He also briefed the minister on the cheering performance of Nigeria Junior Team at the World Junior track championship concluded last week in Germany.
Meanwhile, the CFN President who gave insight on the trip to Germany lauded the young team for holding their forte at the world stage despite their relative inexperience on the track.
He said the outing was a good exposure for the team adding that invaluable lessons have been learnt on how to prepare the team for greater achievement.
“The trip to Germany for the world was a good exposure for our riders. importantly we have seen our capability, our level against the best in the world.
“We have been able to measure our abilities against the top cyclists in the world and we have seen that the difference is about 4-7 seconds between us and the first team on the classification.
“It is still very minimal but you know we have ranges from the 1st to the 10th that is even within the same seconds . So there are fractions of seconds that matter in this kind of competition. This is something we need to understand.
“We know that in Africa we are somewhere, In fact were in the competition because South Africa and Egypt participated. We had three African nations out of the 44 countries at the world championship.
“And we beat the African teams ,even though we had the least experience on track. I can say we are novice in the sport because we have just few months experience since December 2018 we took over velodrome”
Massari said the federation will go back to work to fine tune training and strategies learnt with a view to sustain the pace the team improving.