St Kitts hosts its first Criterium Road Race
January 27th Sunday afternoon and the Nevis Cycle Club was on the move, they had been invited to attend the inaugural road racing event for the newly formed ‘Freewheelers Cycle & Triathlon Club’ club president Larry Vaughan stated “We wanted to kick start our new club into existence with a fast, fun event that could be run as close to the town centre as possible”
3 youths, 2 female and 6 male riders joined the 3 male and 1 female riders representing the St Kitts club on the starting line. The course started on the bay front road outside the Sands Complex, it was 5 laps for the men, 4 for women and 3 for youths.
From the off it was a furious pace with riders jostling for position, Winston Crooke (NEV) exchanging the lead with Jessie Mulcaire (SK) as the group charged up towards Birdrock, turning left down to the federal bank building,. Things gradually heating up as the lead group came around by the fire station for the completion of the first lap, even Freewheelers club president Larry Vaughan taking a turn at the front, however the tone changed on the 2nd lap as James and Reggie eased to the front and setting a tempo that soon had the weaker riders gasping. Chops to Kristina Stoney who hung on with the lead group right till the end of her last lap, comfortably taking 1st place in the female class, veteran rider Wendy Yaphe (SK) took second place ahead of Valerie Smithen (NEV).
In the youth class, Shawn Brear was taking no prisoners, holding on to the lead group for the whole first lap despite the pace, and he is only 13 yrs old, Shawn easily outclassed his older rivals to take 1st place, followed by Dion Clarke and Asim Chapman.
The last lap for the elite riders was out and out war, Reggie and James forcing a hard pace with Royston Stevens (SK) contributing, the other riders Winston, Alex and Keith of Team Nevis and Jessie Mulcaire of St Kitts completing the group, it was going to come down to a sprint.
Flying down to the final turn at the firestation Reggie, with a clear plan in his head, swung onto the rough road and gunned it, using his mountain bike skills to deal with the pitted surface easily, the other riders hung on as best they could. James taking Reggies wheel followed by Royston, the others scrambling for position behind. Last turn, right onto the bayfont road, the pace increasing exponentially the sprint was on, Reggie holding off James right down to the last few metres but James superior sprinting ability came through once more as he pipped Reggie at the post by a mere half a wheel, followed into third place by Royston.
Congratulations to the Freewheelers Club of St Kitts for putting on a great race, thanks to the St kitts police officers who provided superb support and traffic control, we look forward to their next event, Nevis will most definitely be there.