Dick storms to female Cycle Road Race victory
Cramps stymie males in thrilling sprint finish
By Edison Jefford in Suriname
Compliments of Bryden and Fernandes, Warsila, Fon-J Cycle Store and Kiskadee Day Care
Marica Dick snatched the girls’ 30km Cycle Road Race gold medal from the jaws of Surinamese favourite, Jo Ann Veldhuizen in a strategic performance that the males struggled to match, owing to severe cramps in the sprint finish yesterday morning.
Veldhuizen had defeated Dick in the Individual Time Trials on Saturday which singled her out as the person to beat in the Road Race. Dick sprinted away in a time of 56:15.67 with Veldhuizen in her shadow with 56:17.04 on the gruelling Paramaribo course.
Guyana also took away the bronze medal with Naomi Singh clocking 56:40.25. The bottom two places belonged to French Guiana as Dick measured her pace in the pack until making a move on the final two laps of the final Inter-Guiana Games cycling event.
The national junior male team suffered a huge blow after Enzo Mathews hammered opponents in the 60km Road Race, which cleared the way for sprint ace Geron Williams who cramped up near the finish line when he shifted gears to make his move.
Suriname’s Jair Tjon En Fa and Murvin Arumjo got away as a result and Mathews was forced to chase them down after Williams’ injury. Tjon En Fa won in 1:29.11.30 with Arumjo finishing in 1:29.11.54 for second and Mathews 1:29.11.86 for third.
Williams was fourth in 1:29.12.24 while the two other Guyanese riders, Christopher Holder and Chris Persaud finished eighth and ninth respectively in 1:32.51.25 and 1:32.52.23. Mathews and Williams executed their plan to perfection on the course.
Mathews proved that he is in excellent condition when he raced to the front of the pack and kept his place there until the middle of the 30-lap race where he relaxed behind the Surinamese. But he ensured that he and Williams was always in contention.
Persaud and Holder joined them briefly up front before Holder dropped back to manage the pace behind and keep the French riders off the wheels of Mathews and Williams. Mathews went back to the front of the race after his brief relaxation.
Williams followed him as the two Continental Cycle Club riders continued to work their plan on the hot Sunday morning. Mathews kept pounding away until Tjon En Fa and Arumjo broke away with him and Williams on approximately the 14th lap.
The four riders further separated themselves from the rest of the pack when they lapped the trail pack at around the 20th lap. The final ten laps witnessed some intense riding that also included a few mind games from the frontrunners approaching the end.
Arumjo was dropped on the penultimate lap but surprisingly found his way back in the front row on the bell-lap that produced some scintillating attacking and cat and mouse before Mathews had a jump ahead to pace Williams toward the finish.
However, Williams camped up in both thighs when he went on the offensive in the race allowing the Surinamese riders to capitalise with an easy sprint victory. Mathews admitted that the plan in the race was to allow the quicker Williams to win.
“I didn’t know Geron would have pulled up. I was riding for his sprint and he cramped but that is how it goes sometimes. I think we rode a good race and if it wasn’t for the cramps, we would not have been in this position,” Mathews told Kaieteur Sport.
He said that he is in excellent condition after returning from Martinique but Williams has a better sprint than him. Williams told this newspaper that he was not feeling like his usual self. “I wasn’t really myself today,” the team captain indicated before a massage.