Jamal John rode a tactical race as he stayed with the leading bunch until he sprinted away from the lead pack to win the fifth annual Grenville Felix Memorial Cycle road race which was staged on Sunday in East Berbice. The event, which was organised by The Flying Ace Cycle Club (FACC) was sponsored by the Felix Family in Guyana and overseas.
John’s winning time was two hours, 15 minutes and 11.49 seconds (2:15: 11.49 sec). Second was one arm wonder Walter Grant Stuart, with Paul De Nobrega third, Michael Anthony fourth, Andrew Hicks fifth, with Andre Green, Curtis Dey, Alonzo Ambrose, Romello Crawford and Christopher Griffith rounding out the first 10 that received prizes.
The start of the event which was delayed for hours due to the late arrival of the police saw the cyclists peddling off with a rolling start around 14:30hrs from Betsy Ground, East Canje, Berbice in front of the late Felix boyhood place of residence. At his former residence at Canefield, East Canje the 29 riders were given the starters flag as they proceeded to the No51 Police Station and back for the finishing line at Canefield.
A small bunch which included John, Stuart, De Nobrega and Anthony made an early break but were not allowed to get far as they were quickly swallowed in by the pack. It was a ding dong battle for most of the event as the cyclists continuously made the jump to get an advantage, but was quickly roped in by the rest of the peloton.
The riders stayed together for most of the event until the downward journey on the No19 straight road when the first four riders again made a move. It was John that was able to out duel Stuart to cross the finish line first for the win with De Nobrega edging out Anthony in a close tussle for third and fourth.
The junior category saw Ajay Gopilall winning from Ralph Seenarine and Donovan Fraser. The 12-14 category was won by Jeremiah Joseph with Steve Bhimsein second and Mario Washington third.
There was a special race for club cyclists which saw Balram Narine continuing his dominance as Ralph Seenarine finished second and Syborne Fernandes third.
The BMX Category saw Neshaun Rigby taking the checkered flag ahead of Sachin Kara, Troy David and Daniel Blair. Arfaan Blair received a special prize for being the only U-6 rider.
The prime point prize were taken by John and Narine with two each, while there was one each for Jaikaran Sookhai, Marcus Keider, Dey, Ambrose, De Nobrega and Jornel Yearwood.
At the presentation ceremony, Children of Grenville Felix thanked the cyclists for participating in the event. Thanks was also expressed to the hundreds of spectators and supporters for being a part of the event.
They expressed gratitude to Coordinator Randolph Roberts, the FACC and Guyana Police Force for doing a wonderful job and gave the assurance that they will continue the partnership in the future.
Rawle Felix spoke glowingly of his late father who was a retired Engineered with Guysuco and had a passion for his church, community activities and cycling. Ovid Felix and relative Claville Francis assisted in the distribution of the prizes.
Roberts thanked the Felix family for the faith shown in his club and undertook to continue to try his best.
This is the seventh year for the event, the first two was held on his birthday and after he died the family decided to stage the event as a memorial race. The lien trophy would be given to the first rider that wins the event three times. De Nobrega was the defending champion he has so far won the race twice. (Samuel Whyte)
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