In windy conditions at the Seawall Bandstand yesterday, star rider, Alanzo Greaves returned to his triumphant ways by blowing away a star studded field to emphatically win the feature 30-lap event of the 10th annual Caricom Day Wheat-Up Cycling Classic.
Greaves, who placed second in the gruelling 90-mile national championships road race on Sunday, put on a tactical and dominant display of riding to win his ninth signature event of the season.
This year’s most successful cyclist’s victory was so convincing that he lapped all but seven of the finishers in the Roraima Bikers Club (RBC)/ National Milling Company (NAMILCO) sponsored event which attracted in excess of 40 starters.
Along with the winner’s trophy and $30,000 and a year’s supply of Wheat-Up, the 23-year-old RBC product also pocketed six of the 15 sprint prizes that were up for grabs.
The in-form Greaves led top veteran, Godfrey Pollydore, Junior Sportsman of the Year, Paul DeNobrega, last year’s senior Road Race champion Orville Hinds, the ever improving Hamzah Eastman and Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams into the top six places.
Pollydore copped four sprint prizes while two each went to Eastman and DeNobrega.
Hinds carted off the sprint prize each.
The event started off at fever pitch pace with Greaves, DeNobrega and Pollydore attacking right from the starter’s pistol.
In the third lap, under-45 road race champion, Junior Niles and Eastman connected with the leaders as the huge chase peloton led by Williams, Warren ‘40’ McKay, Hinds and others pursued.
At lap eight, Niles was dropped by the lead pack and the five became four. However, two laps later they were joined by the tireless Hinds and Williams.
These six riders blessed with superior stamina and sprinting ability worked as a team to steadily increase their lead on the chasers.
By lap 25, the lead ballooned to one minute and 30 seconds.
At this point, team work was thrown out the window as Greaves with renewed vigour staged a one man assault and began to lap every rider in sight.
Despite a valiant pursuit by the Pollydore, Greaves easily won the event in one hour, four minutes and 41 seconds. His winning time was 15 seconds faster than Pollydore’s.
Other winners at yesterday’s 12-race meet were Hinds (Category One to Three, Five- lap event), Niles (Veteran’s Under-50 Years), Virgil Jones (Veteran’s Over 50 Years), Ozia McAlley (Mountain Bikes Open), Romello Crawford (12-14 Years Juveniles), Eastman (Juniors/ Category Four), Sherwin Sampson (BMX six to nine), Naomi Singh (Females), Pollydore (Win and Out) and Jamal John(BMX 10-14) and Team Roraima (Team Time Trial).
According to president of the RBC, Brian Allen, the event was a resounding success and he envisions a bigger and better staging next year.
Fitzroy McLeod, Financial Controller of NAMILCO echoed similar sentiments and also thanked the cyclists for competing.
The top six finishers in the feature race dubbed ‘The Wheat-Up Classic’ received lucrative cash prizes and trophies as did the top three in the other 11 races.
The winners of laps 10 (Pollydore), 20 (Hinds) and 30 (Greaves) also received 10 packs of Wheat-Up each.