“And the winner is Alanzo Greaves,” seems to be the recurring theme at the completion of local cycling events this season.
The dominance of the national cyclist continued yesterday when he beat the heat and a star-studded field at the National Park in the feature 35-lap event of the ninth annual Hand-in-Hand Insurance Limited 11-race programme which attracted 23 of the nation’s top wheelsmen.
The 24-year-old Roraima Bikers Club (RBC) product, who stopped the clock in a pedestrian one hour, 21 minutes and 27 seconds also carted off a sprint prize.
The in-form Greaves led 2012’s most celebrated cyclist, Robin Persaud, national junior cyclists, Hamzah Eastman, Michael Anthony, Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year, Paul DeNobrega and Albert Philander into the top six positions.
DeNobrega also copped three sprint prizes as did Godfrey Pollydore, who suffered a flat tire and was subsequently unable to complete the event. A sprint prize also went to Philander of the United Cycle Club.
The event rolled off at a fever pitch pace with Greaves attacking from the starter’s pistol. He was pursued and caught by the top six along with Pollydore and Alex Mendes.
These eight riders worked in tandem to open a sizable lead on the peloton which ballooned to more than 800 metres after 15 laps.
Two laps later, Pollydore suffered a puncture and exited the race. The seven leaders, however, would continue to work as a unit and stayed to together until the final 200 metres.
As expected, team work was thrown out the window as Eastman rose from his saddle and changed gear. Greaves, blessed with superior sprinting ability, gave chase and blew by Eastman on the final bend and romped to a two-cycle length victory ahead of Persaud who also sprinted past Eastman.
Before the feature event, Rawle Small won the BMX boys’ 12 to 14 years, three-lap race ahead of Bryton John and Jaleel Jackson respectively. Sherwin Sampson took top honours in the BMX boys’ 9 to 12 years, two-lap race pedaling in before Thuran Garbarran and Stephan Wilkinson.
Sherwin Sampson won the BMX boys’ 6 to 9 years two-lap event, finishing before Alex Leung and Shane Sue-Hang.
Top veteran Junior Niles rode off with the veterans’ U50, five-lap, first place trophy and the sprint prize, beating Shameer and Kennard Lovell who were second and third respectively.
Adrian Sharma took top honours in the three-lap, BMX boys’ open race relegating Daniel Fraser and Deeraj Garbarran to the runners-up positions.
In the 12 to 14 years, boys’ and girls’ three-lap race, Alfie Sonaram took home the winner’s trophy, besting Romelo Crawford (sprint prize winner) and Toshwanna Doris in the process.
In the five-lap veteran’s over-50 race, Virgil Jones was the first finisher followed by Linden Blackman.
Jones and Blackman were the only two finishers.
Maurice Fagundes took home the veterans’ O60 years trophy since he was the only finisher.
Sixteen-year old Anthony won the juniors and juveniles’ 10-lap event in 25 minutes and 50 seconds and also grabbed a sprint prizes. Eastman pedaled in second while Mario King was third. Alonzo Ambrose nabbed the other sprint token.
Richard Charles won both the race and the sprint prize for the Mountain Bikers event. His arch rival Ozia McAlley placed second while Stephano Husbands biked in third.
At the prize-giving ceremony, National Cycling Coach and organizer of the programme Hassan Mohamed thanked customer service representatives, Bonicka Gordon and LaShanna Thompson on behalf of the insurance company for the sponsorship of the event. Mohamed also thanked the cyclists for participating in the meet and making the programme a success.
As customary, three young cyclists received BMX bicycles from the meet sponsors. The recipients were Thuran Garbarran, Jaleel Jackson and Bryton John.
The cyclists will now take their talents to the open roads this morning to compete for an ounce of gold in the second annual Kadir Mohamed Memorial road race.
Notes: Persaud won a record 15 signature races last year on the local circuit; Greaves is two away from surpassing that achievement.