Hamza Eastman kicked off the month of March in fine style yesterday, winning the first leg of the Cheddi Jagan Memorial road race series at West Demerara.
The Team Coco’s rider led Michael Anthony (Team Evolution) and veteran, Paul Choo-Wee-Nam (Team Alanis) across the line in a thrilling three-man sprint finish.
Eastman completed the 50-mile trek from Wales to Parika and back to
Schoonord in one hour, 54 minutes and 50 seconds.
He also carted off two of the eight sprint prizes.
Roraima Bikers’ Alanzo Greaves out sprinted the remnants of the peloton to finish fourth with Paul DeNobrega (Team Alanis) and Orville Hinds (Team Evolution) close behind.
The 47 strong peloton started the event at fast clip, with Team Coco’s Junior Niles setting the pace.
At Schoonord Niles led a seven-man break with Mario King, Robin Persaud, Mark Harris, Akeem Wilkinson, Chris Persaud and Choo-We-Nam.
The unit rode together to separate themselves from the peloton but were pursued and caught by a chase packing consisting of Greaves, Hinds, DeNobrega and Anthony at Tuschen.
However, Eastman, Anthony and Choo-Wee-Nam attacked at Cornelia Ida on the downward journey and were never caught as the peloton sat back playing a cat and mouse game.
The three riders were allowed separation and went on to occupy the podium. At about 200 before the line, Anthony rolled up the sprint but soon cramped up as Eastman blew by his break way mate for the win.
According to organizer of the event, Hassan Mohamed, the second leg will be staged in Berbice on Sunday while the series concludes in Essequibo on March 22.
Veteran under 50 years
Vets over 60 years
At the conclusion of the event, comments were made by former minister of Human Services, Bibi Shadick and Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony. They both spoke fondly of the late president and also encouraged the cyclists to do their best in the following legs.