Curtis ‘Chappy’ Dey kicked off the 2018 cycling season in fine style yesterday, winning the feature 35-lap event of the 25th annual Ricks and Sari Agro Industries multi-race programme.
In perfect conditions for racing at the National Park, the Trojan PSL standout took pole position in a scorching one hour, 12minutes and 51seconds, just 16 seconds off the circuit record which was recorded by national rider, Geron Williams in October last year.
Decked out in a crisp black and neon green team kit, ‘Chappy’ was patient enough to change gears only in the final 200m of the event. His energy conservation tactic paid off as he had enough left in the tank to hold off his club mate, Romello Crawford who finished a close second.
Orville Hinds completed the podium while Junior Niles, Kemuel Moses and Andre Green rounded out the top six rewarding positions.
“It’s the first race for the season and I feel excited” said Dey who will be looking forward to more wins as the season progresses.
Dey revealed that his aim is to be consistent as possible in his campaign this season. “I did a lot of training on the bike in the offseason and I’m hoping it translates to wins and top five finishes.”
Paul DeNobrega and Brighton John seized the early initiative on the 41-man peloton, opening up a lead of about 400m in lap 12.
The race seemed poised between the wheelsmen until DeNobrega suffered an unfortunate puncture in lap 23.
John valiantly tried a solo effort but with the high pacing of the Team Coco’s duo, Jamal John and Hamza Eastman, he was swallowed up by the avalanche of riders in the peloton. Deeraj Garbarran and Chris Griffith then tried a two-man break of their own, but the peloton reconnected at the bell lap.
In the highly competitive season opener, it was anyone’s guess who the winner would be with about 300m to go, as most of the starters were still closely bunched together.
‘Chappy’ who had perhaps the freshest legs on the circuit, staged a successful solo attack with about 200m from the line to start 2018 on a positive note.
Before the signature event of the programme organized by Hassan Mohamed, there were eight other events.
The cycling season continues this morning at 07:00hrs with a GCF points race. That event starts from the National Sports Commission (NSC) on Homestretch Avenue. Cyclists will pedal off from the starting point; proceed to Long Creek on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway before returning to Homestretch Avenue for the finish.
The winners were:
Brighton John (Juveniles, 10 laps)
Shane Bourne (Mountain Bike)
Thuran Garbarran (BMX 12-14 Years, 3 laps)
Jonathan Ramsuchit (BMX 12-14 Boys and Girls)
Junior Niles (Veteran’s Under-50 Years (5laps)
Kennard Lovell (Veteran’s Over-50 Years, 5 laps)
Alpha Harrison (BMX Boys 6-9 Years, 2laps)
Jaheim Henry (BMX Boys 9-12 Years, 3laps)