In drizzling, windy conditions at the National Park yesterday, top veteran Junior Niles reigned over a field of the nation’s premier riders and carted off the spoils of the feature 35-lap event of the National Sports Commission (NSC) sponsored 11-race cycle programme.
The elder wheelsman of the Team Coco’s Club took pole position in one hour, 17 minutes and 36 seconds.
Niles, who also pocketed a sprint prize, led 2012 road race champion, Orville Hinds (Team United), last year’s most successful cyclists, Alanzo Greaves (Roraima Bikers Club), reigning road race champion, Raynauth Jeffrey, Michael Anthony (Team Coco’s) and Paul Denobrega (Team Alanis)into the top six .
Jeffrey, who is also a member of Team Coco’s set the tone of the event and pedaled off with half of the eight sprint prizes. Team Alanis’ captain, Paul Choo-Wee-Nam carted off two sprint tokens while the other went to Hinds.
The feature race, which was highly competitive, started off at a fast clip but no clear leader was established until lap 32. During the course of the event, several groups of riders staged breakaways but were always wheeled in by the chasing pelotons.
Three laps from the finish line however, Niles made a solo move and increased his lead with every powerful turn of the pedal, winning the event some 400 metres ahead of Hinds.
Before the feature event, Niles, 40, also rode off with the veteran’s under-50, five-lap, first place trophy and the prime prize beating Thuran Harris and Shurland Sue Hang.
In the day’s other events, Raul Small won the BMX boys’ 12-to-14 years, three-lap race ahead of Bryton John and Tarique Khan respectively while Sherwin Sampson took top honours in the BMX boys’ nine-to-12 years, two-lap race ahead of Thuran Garbarran, the only other starter.
Small also Sampson also completed doubles, winning the BMX boys 6 to 9 and Open races respectively.
In the 12-to-14-years, boys’ and girls’ three-lap race, Romello Crawford took home the winner’s trophy and sprint prize. Jamal John was second and Tariq Williams pedaled in third.
In the five-lap veteran’s over-50 race, Linden Blackman was the first finisher. He was followed by Wilfred Thom.
Maurice Fagundes won the veterans’ over-60 years’ race ahead of his arch rival Anthony Fariah.
Anthony won the junior’s and juveniles’ 10-lap event ahead of Alonzo Ambrose and Akeem Arthur in 22 minutes and 45 seconds.
The race for the upright cyclists was won by Clyde Jacobs. Nigel Jacobs and Ray Nurse placed second and third respectively.
At the prize giving ceremony, National Cycling Coach, Hassan Mohamed thanked the representative of the NSC for the sponsorship of the event. Mohamed also thanked the cyclists for participating in the meet and making the programme a success.
The cyclists will now take their talents to the open roads of West Demerara this morning to compete in a 40-mile road race. This event will also be sponsored by the NSC.
Notes: Greaves won 19 races on the local circuit last year. There were 36 starters in yesterday’s feature event which was the third of the season.