2nd Annual Caeri Road Race Sint Maarten
Sint Maartens ‘Soualiga Riders’ were the host club for the 2nd annual Caeri Road Race, the morning event was a 40km lap course for 13 and 14 yr old junior road bike riders, whilst the afternoon saw the elite and veteran riders doing their thing. Representing Nevis, 13yr old Shaun Brear joined16 other youngsters riders from Anguilla and Sint Maarten, whilst in the elite race Nevis top cyclist Reggie Douglas would be continuing his preparation for the upcoming OECS road race championships.
The race started on the pondfill and consisted of a 12 lap flat course, but from all the pre-race preparations that went on it was clear that although they were only young, these young men were serious about their sport and their racing. At the very first turnaround point one young guy from Anguilla stamped his authority and took off from the group, making a huge gap which he maintained right through to the finish, showing skills and determination that far outweighed his 14 yrs. For Shaun, it was always going to be a tough competition, racing for the first time outside his home territory, but he showed true guts and determination to hang in with the main group as long as he could, and then pairing up with an athlete from SXM after losing touch with them. Due to the rules of the race, any riders who got lapped were required to pull out of the event, so there were many casualties of the fierce pace being set by the lead rider, Shaun hung in their for 6 and a half laps before being passed by the lead rider and pulled out, only 8 of the riders managed to complete the whole course. Despite his result, Shaun had made a good impression on the other riders and their respective coaches, so much so that he has been offered the chance to travel to Anguilla to train with the other youngsters, all in all it was a fabulous event that highlighted the many talented young men in the region.
In the afternoon was the Elite race which had a combined field of 25 riders, with Reggie Douglas hoping to make a distinct impression ahead of the OECS and John T Memorial events coming up in Anguilla. The cousre took the riders around the pond in Phillipsburg, It was a very tough, flat and fast race, that was marred by bad weather, rain turning the already technical 15 lap course into an ice rink. Many off the athletes suffered crashes in the conditions that retired them from the event, Reggie himself fell twice and was also hit by a careless motorist, nevertheless he soldiered on to finish in 6th place and just off the podium. However, despite the bad luck the 90 km course served the purpose of getting him match fit for the tournaments ahead.
An excellent weekend of racing, with Nevis being ably represented in both events to continue our fight for recognition in regional cyccling, well done Shaun and Reggie. We also offer Reggie our full support as he ably represents St Kitts & Nevis at the OECS championships on July 4th, and the 150km John T Memorial on the 6th.