Friday, 29 June 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John’s - Jyme Bridges and Tamiko Butler both rode to supremacy on the road during the Antigua & Barbuda Cycling Association’s Annual National Cycling Road Championships on June 24.
The Top Ranking sponsored event was packed with the island’s best bike riders, but Bridges successfully defended his 2011 National Championship to win the 2012 Top Ranking National Cycling Road Championship title in a time of 3:10.53.
His challengers included several former National Champions such as Robert Marsh, Cosmos Richardson, Randy Bobby Simon and USA based Lyn Murray, along with other emerging contenders Marvin Spencer, Clint Henry, Walton Francis, Dale Richardson, Omari King, Andre Simon and Ken Jackson.
The event, however, came down to a tactical race with competitors using their fitness and clubs to play a mind game. The Rattlers club’s tactics were most evident, having Cosmos Richardson as the first person to take an early lead. Andre Simon of Team Terminix broke free from the marked elite riders to catch Richardson, and the two continue to lead the race for more than four of the six laps.
Not much came from the race favourites until the middle of the fifth lap when the reigning champion, Bridges, made two decisive moves to break free. Positive results came from both of his attacks but the second one was most decisive and established his position.
Bridges led the group in search of the two race leaders. Both Bridges and the surging pack caught the exhausted Richardson who was unable to match their pace. Bridges caught the lone leader with five miles to go and the two rode together for a short while but the raging Bridges was too much for Simon and he easily rode away with three miles to go.
Bridges won the sport’s most prestigious title in solo style as he saluted the eagerly awaited and somewhat surprised crowd.
National Triathlete, Simon had to settle for second after a courageous and outstanding performance, and he earned the second national title spot completing the course in a time of 3:11.40.
Cycling’s most heightened moment came about three minutes later when USA based Lyn Murray made it look easy to sprint in the third spot, clocking a time of 3:14.04, followed by Godfrey Pollydore in a time of 3:14.05; Omari King, Clint Henry and Robert Marsh were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Meanwhile, Butler had little or no competition in the Female Class but nevertheless the females still displayed great showing. The National Sportswoman stayed with the elite male group to complete the female distance. Butler, of Team Terminix, completed the three-lap female course in a time of 1:38.51 to crown as the 2012 National Female Cycling Champion. Lindsay Duffy placed second in a time of 2:01.10, and Dorothy Graham-Charles, making a comeback on the cycling scene, placed third in a time 3:09.24.
Team Terminex’ Jaleel Cannonier captured the Junior Class in his first year of competitive cycling. The 17 year old endured to the end to upstage the race favourites, and won the National Junior title by completing the junior’s four-lap course in a time of 2:15.13. National Junior Time Trial Champion, Tristan Matthew placed second in time of 2:23.21 but Tesheed Gordon and Colin James did not finish the race.
The B Class was recognized, which was won by Tamiko Butler. She continued on to contest the six-lap B-Class and easily won especially after her fiercest rival, Ashley Rhodes, had an accident which set him back tremendously. Butler completed the course in a time of 3:17.39 whilst Rhodes placed second in a time of 3:22.18, and Edward Henry placed third in a time of 3:22.39.
Joel Phillip won the Cadets Class by completing the two-lap course in a time of 1:07.21 ahead of his rival Nigel Fabian who clocked in at 1:07.22.
Sports Class winner was Dexter Simmons who completed the two-lap course in a time of 1:08.24 ahead of first timer, Conroy Thomas who placed second in a time of 1:08.35.