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Friday 29th June 2012

The Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Association hosted their Annual National Cycling Road Championships on Sunday 24th June. The highly anticipated event came off as a huge success for the organizers but the most successful person of the day was Jyme Bridges and Tamiko Butler.

The Top Ranking sponsored National Cycling Road Championships was packed with the island’s best bike riders, tops with the reigning National Champion, Jyme Bridges defending his title with challenges came from several former National Champions includes Robert Marsh, Cosmos Richardson, Randy Bobby Simon and USA based Lyn Murray along with other emerging contenders to the likes of Marvin Spencer, Clint Henry, Walton Francis, Dale Richardson, Omari King, Andre Simon and Ken Jackson.
The race however came down to a tactical race using their fitness and clubs to play a mind game. The Rattlers club tactics were most evident, having Cosmos Richardson as the first person to take an early lead. Andre Simon of Team Terminix broke himself free from the marked elite riders to catch Richardson; the 2 continue to lead the race for more than 4 laps of the six lap race.
Not much came from the race favourites until the middle of the 5th lap where the reigning champion, Jyme Bridges make 2 decisive move to break free, positive results came from both of his attacks but the 2nd one was most decisive which established his position. Bridges lead the group in search of the 2 race leader.
Both Bridges and the surging pack caught the exhausted Richardson who was unable to match their pace. Bridges caught the lone leader with 5 miles to go, the two rode together for a short while but the raging Jyme Bridges was too much for Andre Simon as he easily rode away leaving him behind with 3 miles to go. Bridges won the sport most prestigious title in solo style as he saluted the eagerly awaited and somewhat surprise crown. Jyme Bridges won the 2012 Top Ranking National Cycling Road title in a time of 3:10.53.
National Triathlete, Andre Simon had to settle for 2nd after a courageous and outstanding performance, he earned the 2nd national title spot completing the course in a time of 3:11.40. Cycling most heightened moment came about some 3 minutes later when a field of the island’s brand named cycling sprinted for 3rd place. USA based, Lyn Murray made it look easy to sprint in the 3rd spot clocking a time of 3:14.04. Godfrey Pollydore was 3rd in a time of 3:14.05; Omari King, Clint Henry and Robert Marsh were 4th, 5th and 6th respectively within a time 3:14.05.
Tamiko Butler had little or no competition in the Female-Class but nevertheless the females still displayed a great showing. The National Sportswoman stayed with the elite male group to complete the female distance. Tamiko Butler of Team Terminix completed the 3 lap female course in a time of 1:38.51 to crown as the 2012 National Female Cycling Champion. Lindsay Duffy placed 2nd in a time of 2:01.10. Dorathy Graham- Charles, making a comeback on the cycling scene placed 3rd in a time 3:09.24.
Team Terminex, Jaleel Cannonier captured the Junior-Class in his first year of competitive cycling. The 17 year old sprinted endure it to the end to upstage the race favourites. Cannonier won the National Junior title by completing the junior’s 4 lap course in a time of 2:15.13. National Junior Time Trial Champion, Tristan Matthew placed 2nd in time of 2:23.21. Tesheed Gordon and Colin James did not finish the race.
The B-Class was recognized which was won by the female, Tamiko Butler. Tamiko continued on to contest the 6 laps B-Class and easily won especially after her fiercest rival Ashley Rhodes had an accident which set him back tremendously. Butler completed the course in a time of 3:17.39 whilst Ashley Rhoades placed 2nd in a time of 3:22.18. Edward Henry placed 3rd in a time of 3:22.39.
Joel Phillip won the Cadets Class. Joel completed the 2 lap course in a time of 1:07.21 ahead of his rival Nigel Fabian who was 2nd in a time of 1:07.22. Dexter Simmons won the Sports-Class; he completed the 2 lap course in a time of 1:08.24 ahead of first timer, Conroy Thomas who placed 2nd in a time of 1:08.35.
The Cycling Association next event will be this coming Sunday 1st July, a test course race on the course design for the 2012 Caribbean Cycling Championships. The event will start at 9am on the roads surrounding Sir Vivian Stadium and will go for 63 miles.

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