National cyclist Alonzo Greaves powered to his sixth win of the season by lapping all but seven riders from a star-studded field of 32 starters to claim the feature 35-lap event of the ninth annual Universal Auto Sales sponsored 11-race cycle programme.
In windy conditions at the National Park yesterday Greaves, 24, emphatically won the event in one hour, 15 minutes and 53 seconds. The star rider also carted off half of the eight sprint prizes.
Greaves, who is in superb form, led last year’s senior road race champion, Orville Hinds, junior sportsman of the year, Paul DeNobrega, Hinds’ brother Delroy Hinds, Wazim Gafoor and John Charles into the top six positions.
Orville Hinds copped a sprint prize while the remaining prizes went to eight place finisher Jude Bentley who initially led the event.
The Hinds’ brothers, DeNobrega, Gafoor, Charles, Bentley and seventh place finisher, Alex Mendes were the only starters that escaped the wrath of Greaves wheels.
The event started off at a fast pace with Greaves, Bentley, Orville Hinds and Junior Niles separating from the field from as early as the second lap.
The four leaders rode as a team and steadily increased their lead on the chasing pack that included national riders Robin Persaud, Raynauth Jeffrey, Enzo Matthews, Raul Leal, Walter Grant-Stuart and others.
With Bentley tiring after leading the pack for the majority of 14 laps, Hinds took the prime at lap 15 and sprung a surprise attack on the rest of the leaders but was promptly pursued by Greaves.
Niles and Bentley failed to respond and were eventually engulfed by a the resilient pack eight laps later while Greaves and Hinds, lapped the other starters.
With eight laps for the finish, DeNobrega, Gafoor, the younger Hinds, Charles and Mendes separated from the peloton and rode in hot pursuit of Greaves and Hinds who were riding in tandem to stave off the challengers.
The group failed to catch Greaves and Hinds and the riders were essentially battling for third after Greaves threw team work out the window 200 metres from the finish line and stormed to an impressive victory.
Greaves’ five other wins before yesterday’s victory were the National Sports Commission (NSC) sponsored 35-lap event in the National Park, two R and R International sponsored races (one staged in the National Park and the other a 40-mile road race) and two Forbes Burnham Memorial races.
Raul Small won the BMX boys’ 12-to-14 years, three-lap race ahead of Bryton John and Shamar Grannum respectively while Thuran Gharbarran took top honours in the BMX boys’ nine-to-12 years, two-lap race ahead. The other two starters dropped out.
Before the feature event, Niles rode off with the veteran’s under-50, five-lap, first place trophy and the prime prize beating Ralph Williams and Kennard Lovell who were second and third respectively.
Makel Diaz took top honours in the three-lap, BMX boys Open race ahead of Jamal John and Jason Jordan
In the 12-to-14-years, boys’ and girls’ three-lap race, Tyrique Hall took home the winner’s trophy and the prime prize.Toshwanna Doris was second while the other two starters did not complete the event.
In the five-lap veteran’s over-50 race, Lancelot Rose was the finisher followed again by Williams and Lovell.
Krishandat Singh won the veterans’ over-60 years’ race ahead of his arch rivals Anthony Viera and Maurice Fagundes.
Last year’s gold medalist at the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships, Michael Anthony won the junior’s and juveniles’ 10-lap event. However, Hamzah Eastman who pedaled in second won the two sprint prizes. Mario King placed third.
The race for the upright cyclists was won by Ozia McAlley. Keon Thomas and Julio Melville placed second and third respectively.
The two-lap BMX boy’s six-to-nine year’s race was won by Sherwin Sampson while Jeremiah Harrison and Isaiah Sahadeo pedaled in second and third respectively.
At the prize giving ceremony, National Cycling Coach, Hassan Mohamed thanked Managing Director of Universal Auto Sales and General Supplies, Shameer Bashk for the sponsorship of the event. Mohamed also thanked the cyclists for participating in the meet and making the programme a success.
The cyclists will now take their talents to the open roads of West Demerara next Sunday to compete in the annual Banks DIH Limited sponsored Powerade 50-mile road race.