In sweltering conditions at the National Park yesterday, United Cycle Club’s (UCC) Hamzah Eastman scorched a star-studded field of rivals and sprinted away with the top honours in the feature 35-lap event of the 10th annual Seven Seas sponsored 11-race cycle programme.
Eastman, who stopped the clock in one hour, 18 minutes and 56 seconds also pocketed two of the eight sprint prizes.
The 18-year old led club mate, Mario King, Wazim Gafoor, Christopher Griffith, last year’s senior road race champion, Orville Hinds also of UCC and Roraima Bikers Club (RBC), Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams into the top six respectively.
Persaud also carted off two sprint prizes while one apiece went to King, Gafoor, Godfrey Pollydore and silver medalist at last weekend’s Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships, Akeem Arthur.
The feature race started off at a fever pitch pace with the starters jostling for lead positions. From the seventh lap however Eastman, Persaud, Gafoor and King separated from the rest of the 30 starters and never relinquished their lead.
The top four rode in tandem to hold off valiant chases of the numerous chase pelotons until team work was thrown out the window at about 200M from the finish. As expected a fierce sprint ensued but the tireless Eastman who is blessed with superb sprinting ability stormed across the finish line ahead of King to take the spoils.
Before the feature event, Raphael Leung won the BMX boys’ 12-to-14 years, three-lap race ahead of Deeraj Garbarran and Rawle Small respectively while Rashedi Ceres took top honours in the BMX boys’ nine-to-12 years, two-lap race pedaling in before Ammo Sampson and Sherwin Sampson.
Sampson however won the BMX boys’ six to nine two-lap event, finishing before Jeremiah Harrison and Alex Leung.
Top veteran Niles rode off with the veteran’s under-50, five-lap, first place trophy and the sprint prize beating Kennard Lovell and Shameer Bashk who were second and third respectively.
Jamal John took top honours in the three-lap, BMX boys Open race ahead of Cleveland King and Christopher Griffith.
In the 12-to-14-years, boys’ and girls’ three-lap race, John also took home the winner’s trophy but the sprint prize went to Jason Jordan. Raphael Leung was second and Alfie Sonoram third.
In the five-lap veteran’s over-50 race, Preston Stanley was the first finisher followed by Virgil Jones. Stanley and Jones were the only starters.
Maurice Fagundes took home the veterans’ over-60 years’ winner’s trophy since he was the only finisher.
Last year’s gold medalist at last year’s Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships, Michael Anthony won the junior’s and juveniles’ 10-lap event. Eastman pedaled in second while Arthur was third. Shaquille Agard however won the sprint prizes.
The race and the sprint prize for the Mountain Bikers was won by Stephano Husbands. Keon Thomas and Julio Melville placed second and third respectively.
At the prize giving ceremony, National Cycling Coach, Hassan Mohamed thanked Pharmaceutical Specialist of Geddes Grant, Karen Cornell for the sponsorship of the event. Mohamed also thanked the cyclists for participating in the meet and making the programme a success.
The riders will now take their talents to the open roads of West Demerara this morning to compete in the ninth annual Reagan Rodrigues Memorial 50-mile road race.