– victorious on Saturday and Sunday
Defending champion Christopher Holder Jnr. rode a tactical race Sunday to win the National Sports Commission (NSC) sponsored 38th annual Mashramani 40-mile cycle road race title in both the senior and junior divisions.
Competing against 27 other riders in the event which got underway amidst a drizzle that became heavy showers midway through the upward journey, Holder, the defending champion in both categories, managed to stave off a strong challenge from Geron Williams and Warren ‘40’ Mc Kay to finish the course in a time of 1:42:54, bettering the time he recorded last year by 2:48s.
When the cyclists were sent on their way by national cycling coach Hassan Mohammed from the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB), Mc Kay, Darren Allen and Tony Simon made a move to the front, but the peloton which included Holder, Williams, Tyrone Hamilton, Junior Niles and Robin Persaud caught up with the front runners soon after.
Williams then made his move to the front as the peloton approached the Crane Village road and he was joined by Simon, Holder and Raymond Newton and later Mc Kay.
Thereafter none of the other cyclists in the peloton made any move to wheel-in the front runners.
On the drive for home, Holder out-sprinted Williams, leaving Mc Kay who had a minor mechanical problem to settle for third ahead of Newton and Simon.
Allen showing his sprinting prowess came from behind the peloton to claim the sixth spot overall.
Mc Kay carted off two of the six sprint prizes while Holder, who also took the junior title Newton, Williams and Simon took one each respectively.
The presentation of prizes was done by Administrative Manager of the NSC, Gervy Harry,
Holder’s impressive showing began the previous day when he completely dominated the field to win the Roraima Bikers Club (RBC) George ‘Boy Blue’ Cumberbatch Memorial around the inner circuit of the National Park.
Having lost the Junior/Juvenile 10-lap event to Williams, Holder rebounded to take the 30-lap feature event from Niles, Walter Grant-Stuart, Robin Persaud, Lear Nunes and Christopher Persaud respectively.
The race attracted 36 cyclists at the start, but by the time Holder crossed the finish line the other 30 riders including last year’s ‘danger man’ Alonzo Greaves had dropped out.
The six finishers went to the front from midway during the race and worked in tandem to increase the lead on the peloton which included Williams, Allen, Mc Kay, Hamilton and Albert Philander.
Prior to dropping out of the race, Mc Kay and Greaves were engaged in a cat and mouse game before they were joined by Allen and Williams, with the trio applying pressure to Greaves, who is being viewed as the man to beat this year.
However, he found the pressure too much to handle and made his exit and was followed by Allen who had cramps in his left calf, along with Mc Kay and Williams respectively.
With no peloton to apply any pressure, the front runners eased through the remaining laps until the sprint for home which was started by Niles who was surpassed by a flying Holder on the turn for home.
The disabled Grant-Stuart out-sprinted Robin Persaud, Lear Nunes and Christopher Persaud in that order to claim the third place.
Other results for the day’s proceedings which were sponsored by George Humphrey of Humphrey Bakery and Farm Products and Clifford ‘Toto’ Johnson, a close friend of the late Cumberbatch, were as follows:
Junior/Juvenile race – 10 laps (6 starters)
1st Geron Williams
2nd Chris Holder
3rd Neil Reece
Category 3&4 – 10 laps (16 starters)
1st Darren Allen
2nd Albert Philander
3rd Kester Croal
Category 1&2 – 10 laps (8 starters)
1st Tyrone Hamilton
2nd Raymond Newton
3rd Robin Persaud
BMX 6-9 years
1st Raymond Perez
2nd Crystal Blackman
3rd Tinesh Raghubar
1st Ozia McAulay
2nd Tariq Baksh
3rd Teon Joseph
1st Niomi Singh
2nd Abigail Humphrey