In perfect conditions for racing at the National Park yesterday, Team United’s Hamzah Eastman secured victory in the feature 35-lap event of the inaugural 11-race Caribbean International Distributors Inc. (CIDI) programme ahead of his break away rival Paul Choo Wee-Nam.
The 19-year-old Eastman who won the event in one hour, 18 minutes and three seconds teamed up with 41-year-old Choo Wee-Nam to out pedal 23 other wheelsmen and took the lion’s share of the spoils.
Besides earning the first and second place trophies and cash prizes, the duo which took control of the race in the 21st lap, also carted off five of the eight sprint prizes with Eastman pocketing three.
Another Team United standout, Orville Hinds placed third while Robin Persaud, Alonzo Ambrose and Choo Wee-Nam’s Team Alanis club mate, Paul DeNobrega rode in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
DeNobrega also carted off two sprint prizes with the other going to Hinds.
The event pedaled off at a fair pace with several sets of riders trying to establish breaks but each was thwarted by the main bunch. At the 10th lap, Persaud, Hinds, Alanzo Greaves, DeNobrega and Andre Abdool teamed up and worked in tandem to separate their bikes from the rest of the field.
The five- man unit despite their team work, were however wheeled in by the chasers eight laps later with national road race champion, Raynauth Jeffrey leading the charge and all the cyclists were bunched again.
At lap 21, Choo-Wee-Nam and Eastman got a second wind and changed gears and were never caught despite the valiant efforts of the rest of the field.
The duo rode as a team to stave off the chasers until they were about 200 metres from the finish. At this point Eastman rose from his saddle and blessed with superior sprinting ability left the elder statesman of Team Alanis in his wake.
Eastman crossed the finish line 52 seconds ahead of Hinds, the rest of the finishers were more than a minute behind.
Before the feature event, Rawle Small won the BMX boys’ 12-to-14 years, three-lap race ahead of Bryton John and Rashidi Ceres respectively while Sherwin Sampson took top honours in the BMX boys’ six to nine and nine-to-12 years, two-lap events. Sampson led Alex Leung and Esau Jaisingh in the younger category and returned to win the other event ahead of Thuran Gharbarran.
Team Coco’s Junior Niles also rode off with the veteran’s under-50, five–lap, first place trophy and the prime prize beating Ralph Williams and Kennard Lovell. His winning time was 15 minutes and nine seconds.
Adrian Sharma took top honours in the three-lap BMX boys Open race ahead of Ammo Gomes and Jaleel Jackson.
In the 12-to-14-years, boys’ and girls’ three-lap race, Jamal John took home the winner’s trophy by out pedaling Raphael Leung and Toshwanna Doris. Leung however won the sprint prize.
In the five-lap veteran’s over-50 race, Linden Blackman was first followed by Virgil Jones.
Maurice Fagundes took the top honours in the veteran’s over-60 years’ race ahead of arch rival Anthony Farrier. Fagundes and Farrier were the only two riders in that category.
Stepano Husbands won the juniors and juveniles’ 10-lap race and the two sprint prizes in a time of 22 minutes and 24 seconds ahead of Michael Anthony and Cleveland King.
The race for the Mountain Bikers was won by Clyde Jacobs who also took home the sprint prize. Nigel Jacobs and Emmanuel Beharry placed second and third.
At the prize giving ceremony, organizer of the event Hassan Mohamed thanked the representatives of CIDI for the sponsorship under the Thrill and Blue Water brands and the cyclists for participating in the meet and making the programme a success.
CIDI’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Alisia Katideen handed out the prime prizes as well as the trophies to the winners and the runners-up at the National Park circuit.
Katideen also congratulated all the cyclists for their participation and pledged her company’s continued support for cycling and sport in general.