By Emmerson Campbell
With Guyanese Godfrey Pollydore and Mark Lewis winning the first and third stages respectively, their fellow countryman Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams must have felt the urge to taste success as well
Williams responded by winning yesterday’s fourth stage of this year’s Ride for Life five-stage road race in fine fashion breaking the previous record set last year.
Williams won the 62-mile event in two hours, 35 minutes and one second lowering the previous time, which was two hours 36 minutes and 48 seconds, set by last years overall winner Antonio Quintero of team CoCos by almost two minutes.
Williams, who was last year’s third place overall finisher, led Surinamese rider Moses Rickets, Pollydore, Henner Rodel and Michael Larsen of the California-based team Exustar’s and Lewis as the top six finishers in that order.
Just before the start of the final leg this morning in Linden, Williams will be presented with the green jersey for winning the penultimate stage.
Williams, entered yesterday’s stage in fifth position however is still not the overall race leader.
That honour belongs to American Jonathan Teeter.
Williams, though, now occupies the third position heading into today’s final stage trailing Teeter and Barbadian Jamal Eastman by approximately three minutes.
Teeter, who was second in the first stage, broke the second stage record by five minutes and had top 10 places in the last two stages.
The fourth stage that commenced at 7.30 am at Supenaam and concluded at the Suddie Public Hospital, saw a fast pace from the start. A group of riders that included Enzo Matthews, Kennard Lovell, the 18-year-old Eastman, Junior Niles and Leer Nunes, separated themselves early from the rest of the field.
This group of riders would journey all the way to the turn back point at Charity still in the lead.
However, Niles and Nunes faded and were overtaken by a group of four riders including Michael Anthony and Lewis.
The lead pack was eventually caught at Dartmouth. This group, however, rode as a team until they were chased down by a group that included Robin Persaud, Rickets, Pollydore, Williams and the Exustar team.
The lead pack did all they could to fend off the pursuing bunch by picking up the pace at Henrietta. However, the relentless pace that was set by the Exustar team brought back the peloton to the lead pack.
The lead pack was caught in the village of Reliance and all the riders were clustered in one big bunch.
At Columbia however, Persaud and Anthony began to sprint and opened a lead on the pack. The pack would fiercely pursue the duo.
At approximately 10km before the finish line, English rider Shaun Green’s hand hit a parked car rearview mirror causing Green to lose control of his bike.
Green‘s misjudgment caused Guyana ‘s national champion Walter Grant-Stewart, Orville Hinds, Niles and second place finisher for the third stage Raynauth Jeffrey to lose their balance and a pile up occurred.
At around six km before the finish line, the race leaders Williams and Rickets were engaged in a fierce two-man duel. The duo was riding at an express pace, closely followed by Pollydore, Lewis, Larsen and Rodel.
About 200 metres from the tape the riders rose up from their saddles and went to another gear. Williams and Rickets went saddle to saddle up until about 50 metres from the tape. At this point a sense of urgency must have kicked in as Williams powered across the finish line earning him the victory.
Today’s final stage will begin at 8:30 hrs with the cyclists riding from Linden and finishing on Homestretch Avenue in Georgetown (62 miles).
All top 10 finishers will receive cash prizes and trophies.
The top three finishers will receive US$1000, US $750 and US $500 respectively.