2nd Annual Chester York Road Race, St. Maarten
Thanks to the Nevis Cycle and Triathlon Club, support of Winston Crooke, and host Reggie Douglas, I was privilege to experience premier road racing at St. Maarten’s two-stage 2nd annual Chester York Tournament. This was the first year a female division was incorporated to accommodate leading Coors Light team member Monica Ceccon.
As Reggie rode for the Mo Trouble team in St. Maarten I was there to represent Nevis. Everyone seemed to adore the St. Kitts and Nevis jersey and colors, one St. Maarten local even tried to bargain me into giving it to him!
The female riders were included with the male riders of the Cadet, A+, and Elite categories, which together constituted over 40 cyclists at the starting line. For this I am thankful; there is no way to reconstruct the familiarity of being in a pack of riders that large, with cyclists in front, beside, and behind except to be in it.
The races were of high caliber with strong and skilled cyclists, able to ride hard, accelerate fast, and strategize with their teammates to attack and win. My goal was to work hard, be watchful, and learn from the movement of the races. Even though I came pretty much last in both races, I never gave up, and pushed the hardest pace possible.
There is no better way to learn and improve then to be involved in a race with superior riders. I would not be able to succeed in the future, if I were not exposed to racing experiences, and there no better place then St. Maarten. Though I was nearly last the people of the country were supportive and cheered me, and complimented my strength. ‘Strong riding’ a number of spectators shared with me at the end of the day. I had worked hard and that is what matters- because I will improve; with continued exposure to races, training, and time, I may be in a position to contend a win.
For now, I am glad to be there, and will continue to race every chance I can, even if it’s not to win, because the practice is the preparation to win eventually. Racing is good hard work and great fun. See you at the next one!