By Emmerson Campbell
Top veteran cyclist Junior Niles used his experience and superior sprinting ability to surge ahead of two juniors yesterday to capture the feature 30-mile race of the sixth annual George Cumberbatch Memorial 10-race cycling event at the National Park Circuit yesterday.
Niles, 38, won the event which was organized and sponsored by the Roraima Bikers Club and Humphrey’s Bakery in one hour, four minutes and 36 seconds.
The Carlton Wheelers rider led juniors Paul DeNobrega and Raul Leal among the top three. Alonzo Greaves, Robin Persaud and Lindener Akeem Arthur pedaled in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Persaud (two), Greaves (one), Leal (one), Albert Philander (one) and DeNobrega (one) also won prime prizes.
Niles who also won a prime prize in the feature event also won the veterans Under 50-years five–lap race earlier in the day ahead of Keith Fernandes and Kennard Lovell.
The main event which featured 35 of Guyana’s best riders started off at a fair pace with all the riders bunched up and interchanging leads for most of the race.
With six laps to go, however, Niles, Leal and DeNobrega broke away from the field and opened up a lead that they never relinquished.
The three riders were pursued by Persaud, Philander, Greaves, Enzo Matthews, Geron Williams, Kurt Larose and others but the lead riders stayed out of reach by working as a team to fend off the chase pack.
At 200 metres before the finish line, Niles and the two juniors were still together, but DeNobrega rose from his saddle and started the sprint to the finish line. Niles also got up and a fierce sprint ensued, but Niles’ superior sprinting ability enabled him to blow by DeNobrega and capture the event.
Earlier in the day Greaves and Philander rode away with the Category One and Two and the Category Three and Four 10-lap events. Greaves defeated Matthews and Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams while Philander outsprinted Davenand Bissoon and Seon Alves.
Cleveland King and Philbert Walters placed first and second respectively in the boys 12-to-14-years one-lap race. King and Walters were the only starters.
Jamal Arthur won the boys nine-to-11-years one-lap race ahead of Briton John and Jhubari Ming respectively.
Makel Diaz took top honours in the three-lap BMX boys open race ahead of Cleveland King and Jamal Arthur.
In the five-lap Veterans over-50 race, Virgil Jones was first, followed by Walter Isaacs and Kirkwood Kellman respectively.
Christopher Hochan won the juniors and juveniles 10-lap race ahead of top junior Raynauth Jeffrey and LaRose in that order.
The race for upright cyclists was won by Kester Croal with Raphael Alberts placing second and Nigel Jacobs crossing the finish line third.
At the prize giving ceremony, the organizers thanked the cyclists for participating in the meet and making the programme a successful one.
The riders will now take their talents to the open road to compete in the third and final leg of the Cheddi Jagan Memorial 50-mile cycle race today on the Essequibo Coast.