By Emmerson Campbell
Manager of the Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF) team which participated in the annual Bigi Bergi four stage road race in Suriname over the weekend Brian Allen said yesterday that while the team could have done better in the team events the individual performances of the cyclists were commendable.
The event, which was organized by team Presto, took place on Saturday and Sunday last, and Team Guyana, under Coach Wayne De Abreu, competed against Aruba, Curacao, French Guiana and host Suriname.
According to Allen, the team, which was somewhat weakened by the absence of star cyclist Geron Williams, included Alonzo Greaves, Robin Persaud, Mark Lewis Lear Nunes, Junior Niles, Enzo Matthews and two juniors Paul DeNobrega and Raynauth Jeffrey.
Allen, speaking with Stabroek Sport, said that the team could have done better were it not for a mishap in the second stage which occurred when Matthews crashed out after his chain got snagged in a patch of gravel.
Allen said that although the race was more or less a team event, Matthews, Greaves and the juniors recorded good performances.
Matthews placed sixth in the opening stage while Greaves placed third in the second stage and won the fourth stage.
Greaves was also the 10th best rider for the event.
DeNobrega placed fifth overall in the fourth stage and was third among the juniors.
Young Jeffrey’s name, Allen said was the talking point of the event as he led the entire second stage for three quarters of the course.
He was third among the juniors in the first stage of the event.
The first stage began at 7.30am Saturday and featured a 72-kilometre (km) race while the second stage later that day at 2.30pm was over a distance of 105 km.
On Sunday at 7.30am there was a 10km time-trial followed by a 90km circuit race (18km x 5) at 3pm.
The two-day event was won by defending champion Marco Punt of French Guiana.
The two day event also served as preparation for the more recognised and much more competitive Caribbean Cycling Championship to be held in Jamaica from September 17 to 18.
The first day will feature a time-trial while day two will feature the road race.
Guyana is expected to field a full strength team with Warren ‘40’ Mc Kay, Geron Williams, Alonzo Greaves, Robin Persaud, Lear Nunes and Enzo Matthews along with two females Hazina Barrette and Naomi Singh, among the cyclists shortlisted by the GCF.
Meanwhile, the GCF will pedal off an event starting at Ocean View International Hotel this Sunday in four categories, seniors, juniors, veterans and females.
The seniors will ride to the Abary Bridge and return (120 km), the females and the veterans will journey to Mahaica Old Road and return via the New Road (88km), while the juniors will ride to the Half-Way Tree, Mahaicony and return to the starting point (72km).
Lucrative prizes will go to the top six senior finishers, the top three juniors and veterans and the top two females.
Last year’s winners Junior Niles (senior) and Paul DeNobrega (junior) are scheduled to defend their titles.