By Franklin Wilson
Witnessed by an encouraging local crowd in the Green Town of Bartica, the 13th edition of the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships (JCCC), the first time ever hosted in Guyana concluded with the home team not being able to earn any medals.
The leading prospect for a podium spot, Ajay Gopilall came down with influenza and was never able to be a threat to the dominant visitors. Even the local quartet in the Juvenile Road Race was not able to hold their own against some of the most seasoned riders at this level from the Caribbean.
However, the experience gained will surely go a long way in helping them to appreciate what is required at this level in order to compete.
The day belonged to Trinidad and Tobago’s Enrique Comarmond who rode beautifully to capture the Junior Road Race gold medal to follow up on his Time Trial gold medal on Saturday.
Comarmond completed the 52.2 miles test (10 times around the circuit) in 2:30:22, winning both the medals the Twin Island Republic won here.
St. Martin’s Kianny Noel started in the grandest of styles as broke away from the field on the first lap but was not able to sustain working all alone in the very humid conditions for most of the race and was eventually caught by Comarmond half way through the race and had to settle for the silver medal in 2:30:33.
The bronze medal went to Bermuda’s Nicholas Narraway who had taken the silver medal in the Time Trials; he capped a satisfying 2019 championship for himself and nation as they rode away with five of the 12 available medals (1 gold 2 silver 2 bronze). Narraway’s time in the race was 2:34:25.
In the Juvenile contest which started off yesterday’s action, Puerto Rico’s Derex Segarra was golden in the 7-lap/36.54 miles clash winning an exciting sprint home in 1:48:34. Early in the piece, it was established that it was going to be a battle between Segarra, Bermuda’s Alexander Miller and United States Virgin Islands’ Michael Dizon-Bumann.
Miller, who had captured the Time Trials gold medal was hopeful of sealing the double but Segarra who had to settle for the silver behind Miller in the Time Trials, turned the tables this time around to the delight of his management team after he crossed the finish line. Miller’s silver medal time was 1:48:35 while Dizon-Bumann clocked 1:48:36.
Bartica Mayor Gifford Marshall and Guyana Cycling Federation President Horace Burrowes who provided live commentary of the races on both Saturday and Sunday expressed gratitude to Almighty God for allowing them to bring off this historic event.
They both agreed that it was not an easy pathway to pulling off the biggest cycling event ever in Guyana and expressed thanks to all and sundry for their support and positive words of encouragement.
Mayor Marshall thanked his fellow Barticians for coming out in their numbers to make the visiting nations feel at home, while Burrowes thanked all the volunteers including national cyclists for their commitment in serving as Marshalls at various points along the circuit.
Special thanks were extended to members of the Guyana Police Force for excellent service rendered which resulted in an incident free championship. The Caribbean Cycling Federation (CCF), Pan American Cycling Confederation (COPACI) and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) were all commended for their support by President Burrowes.
A total of 16 nations including the host, participated in this year’s championship: Guyana, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Anguilla, Barbados, United States Virgin Islands, Grenada, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and St. Martin descended on these shores, inking their names in the history books.
Marshall, his Deputy Mayor Ms. Arita Embleton, CCF Secretary Cyril Monga of Saint Lucia and Vice President Henny Bonafacio of Curacao assisted with the presentation of medals and championships jerseys which were presented to the gold medalists.
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