Berbician Andre Padlock Green riding in familiar territory put a lock on the field to ride away with the Sanko Benjamin 85th birth anniversary cycle race which was held on Saturday on the Corentyne highway. The event which was sponsored by his son, former national cycling champion Wilbert Benjamin and the rest of the family, pedaled off at 13:30hrs from in from of the Benjamin Sports Store at Lot 220 Courtland, Corentyne, Berbice. There were 52 registered cyclists that include sponsor Wilbert Benjamin that took part in the day’s events. The riders were sent on their way by the elder Benjamin on the 50 miles journey which saw the riders pedaling to the No 51 Police Station before turning back to finish at its place of origin. Green’s winning time was in 1 hour 54 minutes and 56.80 seconds.
Green won in a fierce sprint home from Christopher “Chicken Legs” Griffith after the two broke away from the rest of the bunch about one mile on the downward journey.
Another Berbician rider, Romello Crawford, outduel the pack to take third place with Paul De Nobegra, Michael Anthony and Brighton John occupying fourth to sixth places.
From the start there was stiff competition with the cyclists going hard at each other for the early advantage in the large field.
There were many mini breaks, but the leading bunch was constantly roped in by the rest of the field. As the race got deeper the bunch split but the leaders were always caught after shorts breaks. It was a ding dong battle as the riders took turns to jump the others for the break away. However, none were successful as the trend continued until the turn back stage.
On the downward journey it was not long before Green and Griffith broke away and were never caught as they battled to the end with green out sprinting Griffith for the win.
The junior category saw Ajay Gopilall finishing first, while Ralph Sewnarine was second. In the veteran U45 category the consistent Junior Niles took first place with Paul Choo-Wee-Nam finishing second with Jaikaran Sookhai third.
In the veteran Over-45 Category, Nigel London crossed the finishing line first ahead of Syborne Fernandes and Lennox Jackman. Shemika Teixeira won from Whitney Poyer among the females. David Dick was the top juvenile on show with Steve Bhimsen and Mario Washington finishing in the top three.
The prime point prizes were shared by Green with three, while there was one each for Griffith, Niles, Gopilall, Narine and Curtis Dey. The juveniles and females rode from the Benjamin Sports Store and turned back at the Nand Persaud Rice Complex.
The winners received lucrative prizes which included cash, trophies and hampers with the winners taking home an additional bottle of Champagne.
The event and was coordinated by Randolph Roberts and Joseph Britton.
The police contingent was also commended for doing a good job along the busy Corentyne thoroughfare. (Samuel Whyte)
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