May 19, 2013 Sports
All eyes were on the Team Cocoa quartet, Paul DeNobrega, Raynauth Jeffrey, Raul Leal and Christopher Holder but in the end it was 19 years old Barbadian, Jamal Eastman, who secured the best overall time when the first two stages of the 31st edition of the National Sports Commission (NSC) organized three stage road race concluded in New Amsterdam yesterday morning and Carifesta Avenue, yesterday afternoon.
Eastman rode a brilliant first stage, 46.6 miles from Corriverton to New Amsterdam, and finished ahead of the pack before returning to emulate his performance in the second stage, 60.4 miles up to Carifesta Avenue, to take the lead and start this morning’s final leg, from Kara Kara on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway to Georgetown, with a slight advantage of just 10 seconds (2:34:19).
The event was very competitive as highlighted by the close finishes in the second and third places; Geron Williams clocked 2:34:29secs and will start the final stage with a shave below the leader’s advantage, while Orville Hinds registered an overall time of 2:34:31secs, just in front of Robin Persaud at 2:34:32secs.
Kaieteur News’ correspondent followed the race from Corriverton and reported that early morning showers that lasted for just over an hour had subsided about 30 minutes before 73 cyclists pedaled off at 07:30hrs and proceeded at a blistering pace. They remained bunched for about one mile into the journey until several of them seized the initiative and surged ahead.
The race was not incident free and 8 riders out of the leading pack, including Jamaican, Marlo Rodman and Guyanese Enzo Matthews lost valuable time after their machines sustained punctures about 30 minutes into the race.
The riders reached the Rose Hall Municipal Market without further incident with the front bunch reduced to 60 riders but, shortly afterwards, was hit by ill fortune after a cow meandered into their path and resulted in a minor spill.
Thereafter, several of the top guns surged ahead and retained a fast and competitive clip. They included Eastman, Alonzo Greaves, Hinds, Williams, Raynauth Jeffery, Horace Burrowes and Raul Leal. As they neared the finish line, Eastman sprinted to the finish line leaving the pack in his wake to finish at 1:44:11.
The distaff group was represented by Naiomi Singh, Hassena Barrett, Marica Dick and Tashwana Doris with Singh and Barrett performing commendably after finishing among the front bunch. However, only Singh managed to complete the second leg after her companions experienced varying difficulties along the way.
Constant reports coming in during the second leg suggested a keen contest which picked up steam around the Mahaica/Mahaicony area. The blaring sirens of the police out-riders had barely pierced the air when the four front runners sped into Carifesta Avenue from the Rupert Craig Highway, each pedaling furiously to reach the line in the above mentioned order.
The riders would have had a good night’s rest and will return
this morning for the final leg of the race.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Frank Anthony, joined several other cycling officials and enthusiasts at the finish line, Carifesta Avenue, yesterday afternoon and is expected to witness the culmination of the race this morning.
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