Sportsmanship act moves
cyclists from third to first
With a focus
always on winning, it was rather refreshing on Sunday morning to witness a
random act of sportsmanship that propelled Clifton “Tito” Forbes from third to
first in the BVI Cycling Federation’s East End Wall race.
was heart warming in light of the fact that a year ago, Forbes couldn’t even
make it up Lambert Hill on the two lap course that began in Pariquita Bay and
took riders out to Beef Island, then returned to Tortola and went through Green
Land and Little Dix Hill.
champion Phillipe Leroy and Chris Ghiorse were actually the top finishers in the
race but relinquished the top spot to Forbes. Leroy, Ghiorse and Jim Cullimore
who dropped out because of a flat, rode the race on road bikes while Forbes and
the rest of the field were on mountain bikes.
Forbes said it
was unfortunate that the race turned out the way it did. “But, I do welcome the
first place,” said Forbes who rode the course in 1 hour 26 minutes and 25
seconds finishing four minutes behind Leroy and Ghiorse. “I tried to maintain a
steady rhythm throughout the race because I saw that my opponents were not going
as fast as I though they would be going.”
Leroy brought his road bike because he was misinformed while Ghiorse had his
road bike along with his mountain bike in his van. “I was just too lazy to take
it out this morning so in my mind, I was going to just try and stick with him
(Leroy) and convince him not to race for points because it really was unfair to
everybody else,” explained Ghiorse. “He agreed and we rode the race out
basically with a gentleman’s agreement that whoever got to the top of the steep
Lambert Hill first would just ride across the line first. Phillippe is in better
shape than me so it was no question that he was at the top first.”
Forbes said he
had been doing a lot more training this year, after failing to navigate Lambert
Hill last year and pulled off the road to rest under a Tamarind tree. “I knew
Lambert Hill was going to be a challenge for me and last year was an unfortunate
event,” Forbes explained. “I came back with a strong intention to conquer that
hill this morning.”
president David Thomas said he was satisfied with the turnout. “The race was a
good indication of how the season went because you could see the guys who have
been training all the time. Their training has paid off. next week’s time trial
will be a punctuation for how the year went ahead of the season ending Jason
1. Clifton Forbes, 1 hour, 26 minutes and 25 seconds. 2. Neil Thomas, 1:30.30.
3. Steve Marsh, 1:34.14. 4. Darel Christopher Sr., 1:38.37. 5. Glenroy Forbes,
1:43.39. 6. David Thomas, 1:43.40. 7. Tom Merrigan, 1:51.03. Dnf. Jim Cullimore.
Novice: Richard Wall, 1. 1:02.51. 2. Mark Mckenzie, 1:44.53. Junior: Darel
Christopher Jr., 54.50.
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