McKay (snr), Benjamin (vets) repeat; Holder, Barratt claim junior & female titles
By Franklin Wilson
Roraima Bikers Club Warren ‘Forty’ Mc Kay (1 hour 47 minutes 23 seconds) and Gary Benjamin of Flying Ace Cycle Club (1 hour 21 minutes 44 seconds) both retained their respective senior and veteran titles when the Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF) hosted their National Championships yesterday on the East Coast of Demerara.
The riders were sent on their way from the Ocean View International Hotel with the seniors and juniors going all the way to De Hoop Mahaica with the veterans and females turning back at the Mahaica Police Station before returning to the starting line for the finish.
A new junior champion was crowned when Kaieteur Cycle Club’s Christopher Holder (1 hour 51 minutes 47 seconds), who has not been active as normal due to exams, made a triumphant return to out duel Continental cycle Club’s Paul De Nobrega in the closest battle of the four categories. Rastaff O’Selmo of the Linden Bauxite Flyers Club took the 3rd place.
Rising female star Hazine Barratt (Linden Bauxite Flyers) made light work of rivals Marcia Dick of Berbice and Naiomi Singh in that order to take her first major title in the sport. Barratt’s winning time was 1 hour 28 minutes 53 seconds.
Barratt’ arrival on the scene adds new life to the distaff end of the sport and along with Dick and Singh they will be aiming with their performances to attract many more females to the sport. United Kingdom based rider Claire Fraser who will be representing Guyana at the CAC Games later this year also competed even though she was suffering from the flu.
Yesterday’s event which attracted 50 starters was held in overcast conditions and rain which did not dampen the level of competitiveness displayed by the riders.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport after the race, Mc Kay said the race was a bit difficult for him on the upward journey since he had to chase the main pack from Lusignan and only connected at Mahaica on the downward journey.
“I had to ride real hard to catch up with them, digging deep into my reservoir of experience. But once I connected, I continue to ride smart before breaking away and never looking back. Mc Kay and club mate Jude Bentley were involved in a sprint to the line but the former prevailed.
Enzo Matthews of Continental Cycle Club who recovered from a fall at Mahaica (upward journey) did well to take the 3rd place in the senior ranks.
The likes of Robin Persaud, Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams and Alonzo greaves who suffered a puncture also at Mahaica were not up to the task yesterday but will surely be gunning for top positions when the National Milling Company of Guyana brings off the 7th annual ‘Wheat Up’ road race on Monday July 5.
Yesterday’s GCF National Championships were sponsored by The Trophy Stall and Wayne DeAbreu. The winners were presented with medals and a championship jersey while the 2nd and 3rd place riders received medals.