Story and photos by Franklin Wilson
Even the rainy and overcast conditions on the day did not deter cyclists from coming out and testing each other when the first segment of the Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF) Road Race Championships were contested yesterday.
Juniors, Juveniles, Ladies, Masters Under and Over-50 riders numbering 20 in total including three females braved the weather as they took on the challenge of trying to retain or challenge for the title as the best and bragging rights for the next year.
In the end, and maybe for the first time, each of the categories saw last year’s winners successfully retaining their titles. United Kingdom based Claire Fraser-Green; a Continental Cycle Club member was again unbeatable winning her sixth successive National Road Race championship.
Fraser-Green covered the 52 mile (83.69km) distance in Two Hours 46 Minutes 14 Seconds (2:46:14), almost 35 minutes ahead of the 2nd and 3rd placed Shenika Teixeira (Trojan Cycle Club) and Abigail Jeffrey (Linden Bauxite Flyers Cycle Club) who were both timed at 3:20:21.
The Juveniles and Masters Over-50 covered the same distance as the Ladies with the latter division being won again by Andy Spencer of Team Evolution in 2:26:17 with Shameer Baksh of Carlton Wheelers Cycle Club taking the runner-up spot.
David Hicks, another United We Stand Cycle Club member, once again dominated his Juvenile peers to defend his title successfully in a time of 2:29:10. Trojan CC’s Jonathan Ramsushit had to settle for the 2nd place once again with teammate Steve Bhinson, 3rd.
Briton John (United We Stand Cycle Club) continues to maintain his status as the best junior cyclist by staving off the challenge of his rivals to win secure back to back titles and the double as he had won the Individual Time Trials on Saturday.
John, who competed at the Junior World Championships, last year in Denmark was timed at 3:51:04 for the distance of 80 miles (128.75km). Ajay Gopilall (Trojan Cycle Club) and Donovan Fraser (Unattached) closed out the top three spots in that order as they also did in the Time Trials.
John’s club mate, Warren ‘Forty’ McKay, who set the standard yet again in the Under-50 class, recorded the same times. McKay was followed to the line Pastor Nigel London (Linden Bauxite Flyers Cycle Club) and Mark Spencer in that order.
Fraser-Green commenting on the race noted that it was tough for her having made a mistake at the start she virtually time trialed the 50plus mile contest.
“I haven’t ridden 50 miles this year and I haven’t raced since last year but it is amazing to be racing again in Guyana. It was also awesome to get the time trial win on Saturday but I really hope that we get more people out riding bikes and playing sports. Hopefully this would be a springboard to get me back into training.”
McKay also stated that the race was a tough one for him as did Briton John. The experienced McKay informed that himself and John linked up in the Linden Soesdyke Highway on the upward journey and never looked back.
John said that he has been working hard from the start of the year and is not surprised that he has successfully defended his title, informing that he has been doing lots of intervals and long rides as guided by his Coach, Horace Burrowes.
The race route yesterday started at Homestretch Avenue from 07:30hrs in front of the National Sports Commission proceeded east along Homestretch Avenue, right into Mandela Avenue, left at DSL into the East Bank Carriageway, South along Houston Public Road all the way to Timehri where cyclists turned around at the end of the double road.
The riders then returned to the Linden Soesdyke Junction, made a right onto the Linden Soesdyke Highway and turned around at Long Creek before returning to the starting line at Homestretch Avenue for the finish. After turning at Timehri, juveniles and ladies did not make the right turn onto the Linden Soesdyke Highway but journeyed back to Homestretch Avenue.
Attention will now turn to the Senior Road Race this Sunday which will pedal off at 07:30hrs from Homestretch Avenue and follow the same route as the juniors and masters. They will however proceed to Moblissa on the Linden Soesdyke Highway before returning to the starting line for the finish, a distance of 110 miles (177.03km).
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