By Emmerson Campbell
Jude Bentley’s last name is synonymous with a luxurious automobile so it was only fitting for the 2006 Commonwealth Games cyclist to ride in vintage style.
Yesterday, when Banks DIH Limited and Hassan Mohamed teamed p to pedal off the 50-mile cycle road race under the Powerade brand, Bentley rode away with the winner’s trophy in affluent fashion.
Bentley, arguably one of Guyana’s most talented cyclists, easily won the event in one hour, 54 minutes and 55 seconds.
The race, which attracted 46 riders, commenced in front of the Wales Police Station, proceeded to Bushy Park, Parika, before returning to the western end of the Demerara Harbour Bridge for the finish.
Bentley led a line up of Lindener Orville Hinds, Eric Sankar, Raymond ‘Steely’ Newton, Enzo Matthews and Davenand Bissoon into the top six positions.
Bentley and Newton also recived two prime prizes while Hinds, Sankar, and Matthews copped one each.
The race, which got off to a fair start, saw the riders bunched together for the first eight miles until the top six were separated from the peloton. The chase pack, which included Robin Persaud, Raynauth Jeffrey, Walter Grant-Stewart, Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams and others, tried throughout the race to catch the leaders but they were unsuccessful as the lead pack worked as a team to increase their lead.
However, as the finish line neared, team work went out the window and the race for supremacy ensued. Sankar made his move then Hinds followed with Bentley, Bissoon, Matthews and Newton in pursuit.
Sensing that he was the strongest of the six riders, Bentley stepped up his pace at Vreed-en- Hoop and made his move for the finish line. Bentley would further increase his lead and smiled as he crossed the finish line unchallenged.
Bentley, who has had his brushes with the Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF) told Stabroek Sport after his victory that he is looking to turn a new leaf in 2012 and just concentrate on riding at a high level. He mentioned that he has been in training for almost a month and that he plans on resurrecting his once successful cycling career.
Meanwhile, in the veteran’s race which saw the participants turning back at the Uitvlught Community Centre, Talim Shaw won ahead of Shameer Baskh and Kennard Lovell, who finished second and third respectively.
In the upright category which took place simultaneously with the veterans, Dexter Wilson took top honours by upstaging Hamza Eastman and Andre Pettey.
After a fierce sprint Lindener Michael Anthony edged Paul DeNobrega to sprint away with the junior’s winners’ trophy, Raul Leal pedaled in third.
Walter Isaacs took the Over-60 years title.
And a special prize was awarded to 13-year-old Alfie Sonaram who was the youngest finisher.
At the presentation ceremony, Banks DIH Limited soft drink brand manager Jennifer Khan vowed to continue the sponsorship of the event since they were pleased with the attendance and performance shown by the cyclists.
Mohamed, the national cycling coach, thanked the cyclists for making the event a successful one and intimated that his next event will be on Saturday in the National Park Circuit when he teams up with Universal Auto Sales to pedal off an 11–race ‘Teach Them Young’ programme.
Mortimer Stewart, Outdoor Events Manager of Banks DIH Limited distributed the prizes to the respective winners on behalf of the company which is the sole distributor of Powerade energy drink.