By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
After winning both $50 sprint premes, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Trevor Bailey outsprinted his Antigua and Barbuda and BVI counterparts, to win Sunday’s BVI Cycling Federation 74 miles 13-laps Election Classic in West End and collected the $500 prize.
Bailey, who won the 2018 Caribbean Cycling Championships, fended off the charge of Antigua and Barbuda’s Sean Weathered, the BVI’s Phillipe Leroy and Antigua and Barbuda’s Rena Gayral, to win in 3 hours, 57 minutes and 40 seconds to Weathered’s 3:57.45 and Leroy’s 3:57.47. Gayral placed fourth in 3:57.48.
“My legs was fresh out the race and I was waiting from far to beat them but they started early and I beat them at the finish line,” Bailey told Island Sun Sports. “I was looking to drop them and come to the finish line by myself. The pace wasn’t that high, it was like a Sunday ride. I could have been faster these guys were just watching me.”
Bailey who will compete in the Dominican Republic as part of a Caribbean team in a 560 miles seven stage race this weekend, said he had a problem trying to break away after the elite field of eight split in half. He said the race needed some hills.
“I’m from Vincy with hills,” he noted. “Not this. It was too flat. I train on flat, but the race was good.”
Weathered, who earned $350 in for second place, said it was an enjoyable race and Bailey with whom he competed in the Caribbean Championships was his target, but he edged him at the end.
“No hard feelings. I’m twice his age, and trying to compete still,” he said of Bailey, 23. “That’s what it’s all about.”
With four of them over the last 20 miles, he said it was tough to break away on the last lap. He said Bailey’s strength would be the hills and since there were no hills, it was tough for him to get away.
“I’m not a sprinter, but I have rolling speed, so I’ll roll back in,” he said. “You’re not gonna get away from me once it’s a flat course, but he tried. And Phillipe, for his age—brilliant effort—absolutely brilliant effort. He tried to leave us on the last lap, but that wasn’t possible. However, it was a lovely race. Sorry there weren’t participants from different countries, but all in all, a lovely event.”
Weathered dedicated the race to his sponsor who has Multiple Sclerosis and said his heart went out to him.
“My race today was dedicated to persons suffering with Multiple Sclerosis,” he said.
Leroy, just two weeks shy of his 59thbirthday, said it was a great race but not enough people so there was a lot of ‘cat and mouse.’
“We were going very slowly, then very fast, so it was very hard on the legs,” he pointed out after collecting $200 for third place. “After six laps, I couldn’t get rid of them. They’re too young and strong. At least I’m glad, I didn’t finish last on the sprint. So it was great. The guys were very good.”
BVI Cycling Federation president Darel Christopher Sr., said despite the small numbers and the absence of the Haitian rider, there was a great crowd watching the small field of riders.
“I was expecting the race to be faster but it needed more people in the leading pack so we could have more speed,” he said. “They took a little while just to finish 74 miles, but the youngster, Mr. Bailey, he won the two sprint premes and the overall and I see a great future for that young man.”
Final results: 1. Trevor Bailey, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 40 seconds. 2. Sean Weathered, Antigua and Barbuda, 3:57.45. 3. Phillipe Leroy, BVI, 3:57.47. 4. Rena Gayral, Antigua and Barbuda, 3:57.48. 5. Akeem Thomlinson, Antigua and Barbuda, 3:50.09 (11 laps). 6. Neli Lloyd, Antigua and Barbuda, 3:57.20 (11laps). 7. Bram Sanderson, Dominica, 4:02.28. 8. Orano Andrews, BVI, 3:50.09. (10 laps).
Women: Kay Reddy, Olympia Fahie and Natasha Ruscheinski.