One day after emphatically winning the senior National Time Trial Championships in the hills of Linden, national star cyclist Raynauth Jeffrey took his talents to the open road yesterday and dominated his rivals to earn the title of National Road Race champion.
The 19-year-old Team Coco rider, stopped the clock at three hours, 48 minutes and 40 seconds for the grueling 90-mile race, convincingly winning the event in excess of three minutes ahead of second place finisher, Roraima Bikers Club (RBC) cyclist, Alanzo Greaves.
RBC’s Warren ‘40’ McKay completed the podium for the race which started on Homestretch Avenue, proceeded to Soweyo and returned to Homestretch for the finish.
Walter-Grant Stuart, the 2011 National Road Race champion, the resurgent Christopher Holder and national rider, Jude Bentley rounded out the top six.
The event rolled off at a blistering pace with Greaves, who won three road races on a month long stint in the United States of America spanning May and June attacking the rest of the 26 starters from the sound of the pistol. The chase peloton reconnected to the national cyclist at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School but he attacked again by the well but was caught again.
Soon after, Greaves again upped the ante with Junior Sportsman of the Year, Paul DeNobrega in hot pursuit.
Greaves and DeNobrega rode in tandem and enjoyed the lead until they were reeled in by the pack about five miles before the Linden Highway/Soesdyke junction.
The 23-year-old Greaves rose from his saddle and again tried a one man assault on the rest of the riders but the chase pack worked and reconnected.
On the highway, there were a series of mini breaks involving Greaves and other riders including Rastaff O’selmo, McKay and last year’s road race champion, Orville Hinds but they were unsuccessful.
With about 300 metres before the turn back point, however, Jeffrey changed gears and went on a break by himself.
From then on, the only issue was whether the chasers could reconnect to Jeffrey, last year’s junior Time Trial and Road Race champion.
A tireless Jeffrey, who rode more than half of the event by himself, never relinquished the lead and went on to cross the finish line without a rival in sight.
The former junior prodigy along with Greaves, McKay, Grant-Stuart, Holder and Bentley will now be on the top of the list for any team representing Guyana on international duties.
Jeffrey told this publication that he and his teammates will be rewarded by club owner, Ian ‘QB’ Davis by journeying to Anguilla to compete in the annual John T Road Race.
Earlier in the day, Jeffrey’s club mate and gold medalist at last year’s Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships, Michael Anthony took over where he left off and pedaled his way to the junior title.
The 16-year old Anthony, who won the junior Time Trials on Saturday, out sprinted Shaquille Agard and took the top honours of National Junior Road Race champion. Hamzah Eastman pedaled in third.
In other results of yesterday’s championships, Team Coco’s, Junior Niles easily won the under-45 road race title ahead of Ralph Williams and Syborne Fernandes respectively.
The over-45 veteran event was won by Ian Jackson, followed by Raymond Newton and
Naomi Singh copped the Female road race championship by out pedaling Hazina Barrett and last year’s champion, England based Claire Fraser.
Veterans and Females turned back at Kuru Kururu while junior riders returned from Long Creek.
The championships were not without its hiccups as some veteran riders bemoaned the fact that no officials were present at the turning back point and as such one rider (Newton) rode 20 miles more than he should have.
President of the Guyana Cycling Federation, Cheryl Thompson apologized for the mistake and promised to rectify it next year.
Yesterday, riders from Team Coco’s won the senior, junior and under- 45 National Road Race titles.