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Thursday 1st March 2012

The Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Association race season got off to a fast start Sunday afternoon at the Pan Am Base Circuit in the Coolidge area. Over 40 riders turn out for the ABACA Opening Season Race.

National and OCES Triathlete Champion, Antigua and Barbuda’s Tinman, Andre Simon, surprise the field and the spectators as he showcased the best rider of the day. Simon broke away on two occasions with one lasting as much as 4 last with a time gap of over 30 seconds, but the pace of the peloton was too strong for him to stay away. The final lap came down to a group sprint of approximate 9 of the island best riders. But Andre Simon had the fastest legs of the day to out sprinted Robert Marsh and Clint Henry to nipped them at the line to win the his first elite race and the first race of the 2012 season. The Rattlers Cycling Club was 1 and 2 with Andre clocked a time of 1:55.07.771 and Clint Henry in his first race in the A-Class after got promoted at the end of the 2011 season, he placed 2nd in a time of 1:55.07.775 after surprising Marsh at the line. Club Savoy top rider, Robert Marsh had to settle for 3rd with a time of 1:55.07.795. Ken Jackson was 4th ahead of Antigua’s former Mountain Bike Olympian, Rory Gonsalves who placed 5th respectively.

Over 13 riders contested the B-Class on the Opening Race. Walton Francis starts his season on the top of his game by completing his 25 laps among the A-Class riders. The Rattlers Club took the B-Class with Walton easily winning his class in a time of 1:35.25, over 5 minutes ahead of his closest rival Tesheed Gordon who was 2nd in a time of 1:40.45. Tamiko Butler now riding with a newly formed cycling club, Team Terminex she is now competing in the B-Class among the guys and placed 3rd in a time of 1:44.01. Mervin Gore and Ashley Rhodes were 4th and 5th respectively.

Junior-Class won by Tesheed Gordon of Rattlers Club ahead of Jaleel Connonier, the new rider placed 2nd in his first outing and completed his 20 laps in a time of 1:24.25. Colin James Jr was the 3rd competitor in the Junior-class but was unable to finish.  Lindsay Duffy easily won the Female Class ahead of Kevinia Francis. Mrs Duffy completed the 10 lap course in a time 45:13, over 5 minutes of Kevinia’s time of 51:52.

The newly introduced Sports-Class which replaces the Beginners-class runs separate from the main race and is broken down to several classes. Sunday’s Sports-Class ran for 5 laps and consisted of Masters which was won by veteran triathlete, Peter Kelsick who completed the 5 lap course in a time of 22:55. Henry Edwards, Ellison Jarvis and Kurt Spencer were 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in Sport lass-Open whilst Laurieanne Haynes overcame Shari Browne in the Sports Class-Female. Laurieanne Haynes produced a time of 30:01.

Special thanks go out to Eddie Matthew of Matthew’s Auto Parts for sponsoring and promoting the after party to celebrate the opening of the 2012 Cycling Season. A thank you also goes out to Frank B Armstrong for coming back on board to make Lucozade the official drink sponsor and top partner of the Cycling Association races for the 3rd consecutive year, other sponsors includes Guntropes water and Oasis Water.

Meanwhile, the cyclists take a go at it again this Sunday in a cross country 48 mile Road Race put on by the Cycling Association. The race will start at the Police Recreation Grounds at 8:30am and follow the course of Airport road, Old Parham Road, Friars Hill rd, Marble Hill, Hodges bay, Airport rd, back unto Factory road then head up to Mount joy round about, Black out road, pass Pot Works dam, Bethesda, Red Hill to St. James’s gate turn, back through Bethesda, Pot Works dam rd, factory rd, finishing back at PRG. The island best riders will be competing as they continue their preparation for the 2012 Caribbean Cycling Championships to be held here in Antigua, October 13 – 14.

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