Reggie Douglas takes 3rd for SKN at OECS Cycling Championships
Team St Kitts & Nevis were in St Lucia this past weekend to particpate in the 6th Annual OECS road racing Championships of 2009, the team was headed by newly crowned national champions Reggie Douglas and kathryn Bertine, with riders James Weekes, Kristina Stoney and Monica Ceccon making up the 5 person team. Despite some hicups with missing luggage and the exitement and controversy caused by SKN fielding the only co-ed team, the event went off very well, in a pre-race meeting some memers were concerned that the women would not finish or that they would impede the progress of some of the male riders..
In contention were St Lucia, Grenada, SKN, Antigua and St Vincent & the Grenadines, .on a very warm but beautiful Sunday morning the riders were given the off and the pace was hot from the gun, a mile into the course came the 1st challenge in the shape of a long hill climb that was attacked with such gusto that 3 riders were dropped almost immediately, none of them women!.
The 114 km course was always going to be a challenge and Reggie for one was after the title of OECS cycling champion, to go alongside his OECS triathlon championship trophy, and what a tough task it proved to be as riders attacked, some were dropped, others fought themselves back into the mix, and amongst this melee the SKN team was holding its own, first Monica, then James taking leading roles to wear on the enemys legs. After they fwell off the pace Kathryn took to the task at hand helping reggie to control and influence the peloton.
The second hill climb on the two lap course was always going to be where the major moves were made, and move reggie did, with one lone rider out front the peloton relaxed on the ascent, and reggie decided it was time, and he was away on the hunt to link up with the man ahead, once he had joined Jyme bridges of Antigua one St lucian rider took off after them and then the three of them teamed up to open the gap even further.
Kathryn bertine, now in defense mode slowed the pelotn down as the main bunch tucked in behind her, her team captain was up ahead, it was now left to Grenada and St Vincent to chase them down, however, the chase never really got organised and the gap slowly opened to up to 3 mins, this proved more than enough for our trio up front. Working very well together up untill the very last moment, when the gloves came off and the sprint war began, the final outcome was 1st for St Lucia, 2nd Antigua, 3rd St Kitts & Nevis, all the riders posting the same time of 3:13:10, and the best finish ever in a road racing championships for the nation of SKN, a fabulous result for the team, well done Reggie!!
Kathryn came in with the next bunch of riders to place 10th overall, Kristina, despite being the 1st team member dropped pulled herself back into the event and finished in 15th position, 3 riders in the top 20, two of them female, go SKN.