Russell Elcock, riding for WOW Fugen, chalked up his third consecutive road race win on the Fontabelle, St. Michael circuit as the Barbados Cycling Union continued its Road Race Programme yesterday.
With two very exciting races completed so far for the season a large crowd gathered at Fontabelle to see Barbados’ top cyclists battle on the flat but extremely fast circuit.
Elcock and Jesse Kelly of I Exchange, Team Excel who had the crowds on their toes in the previous race at the Garrison, were excited to test each other’s skills, strength and tactics on this circuit. The competition was great , especially with the return of Jason Perryman of WOW Fusion and independent, Stuart Maloney, two very strong riders with many medals under their belts.
Over 30 cyclists came under the starter’s orders. The Youth Development Programme, with children between the ages of four and ten, opened the event with one lap of the course. The spectators cheered on the next generation of cyclists as they sprinted home to the finish.
With a buzz of excitement the main attraction started at 3 p.m. As expected the main peloton was split from lap one with Elcock, Kelly, Perryman, Ross Callender of G4S, Team Swift, Maloney and Edwin Sutherland of A Class Battery Golden Wheelers leading the field by 20 metres. Young Joshua Kelly of I Exchange got on the front of the peloton and reeled in the front runners. Without hesitation his fellow national junior rider Sutherland attacked and put one minute on the peloton. Sutherland held this position for 18 laps before Joshua Kelly and Gregory Austin, another independent, made a valiant effort to bridge the gap to connect with Sutherland. Elcock would have none of this and with his brilliant time trial ability bridged the gap and connected to the leaders who were out front for more than half the race.
With one lap to go the excitement grew, the crowds converged on the finish line placing their bets on who would cross the finish first. With 50 metros to go it was Elcock, Kelly and Perryman motoring for the top spot. At the line it took three camera shots from three photographers to come up with the result between Elcock and Kelly. Elcock won just like the race before by a millimeter to show his form and dominance in this early part of the season. Kelly finished second and Perryman was third.
This sprint to the line also saw the top three junior riders behind their seniors coming to the finish. Dominant in this class was Gregory Vanderpool of WOW Fugen, with Sutherland in second and Joshua Kelly in third.
Austin won the masters category, Reginald Jones of A Class Battery Golden Wheelers was second and Sedwin Jones third.
The masters 50 and over was won by John Proverbs, an independent, and Ronald Harding of WOW Fugen placed second.
In the juvenile category Tremaine Forde-Catwell of G4S Team Swift was beaten by his teammate Chayne Goodman who placed first, Jacob Kelly of I Exchange Team Excel placed third.
In the Tinymites Luke Staffner of G4S team Swift continued his winning ways beating Damerio Griffith of A Class Battery Golden Wheelers into second place.
A Class Battery Golden Wheelers swept the field in the Youth Development Programme. Tyrese Rawlins placed first, Reneil Broomes was second and Nathan Thomas, third. Four-year old Jonah Kelly also finished the race.
The next race on the calendar starts near the St. Lucy Parish Church on March 9.