TEAM TTO ace cyclist Nicholas Paul powered his way to gold in the men’s one-kilometre time-trial event at the UCI Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia last evening.

Paul dashed to 59.994 seconds in the four-lap event to earn TTO’s first medal at the Cup, in his first competition since the July 23-August 8 Tokyo2020 Olympic Games.

Paul split 18.487 for the 250m mark before passing the half-way stage in 31.328, his fastest 250m split being 70.088 km per hour. He rounded the 750 mark in 45.003 and crossed the finish line in 59.994.

Poland’s Patryk Rajkowski grabbed silver in 1:00.240 while Colombia’s Santiago Morales nabbed bronze in 1:00.464

Earlier in the morning heats, the Paul clocked a blistering 59.378 to qualify first from among 19 international cyclists.

The 2019 Pan American Games men’s sprint champion was easily ahead of the second-fastest qualifier Rajkowski (59.960) and Morales in third in 1:00.577.

Czechoslovakia’s Dominik Topinka (1:01.655), Canada’s Ryan Dodnik (1:02.226) and India’s Ronaldo Laitonjam (1:02.302) followed in that order, while Mexico’s Juan Carlos Teran (1:02.528) and Canada’s Ethan Ogrodniczuk (1:02.830) rounded out the finalists.

Paul, the world record holder for the men’s Flying 200, failed to surpass his own national record of 59.241 set at the Pan American Elite Track Cycling Championships, at altitude, in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2019

Paul is leading a four-man TTO contingent into action in Colombia, a squad that includes Quincy Alexander, Keron Bramble and Akil Campbell.

Paul placed sixth in the men’s sprint in Tokyo, and 12th in the keirin.

The 22-year-old cyclist will also contest the keirin today and the match sprint tomorrow, two events in which he reached the quarter-final and semi-finals respectively, at the recent Olympic Games.

The Pan American Elite Track Championship men’s sprint champion will be looking to be among the medals this time around in an inferior competition.

Apart from Paul, Alexander will compete in the sprint tomorrow, Bramble in the keirin today and Campbell in the omnium, scratch race and elimination race tomorrow.