By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In the busiest weekend with seven sports scheduled to see action and two sports ending their season, the pandemic changed the landscape and shut sports down for a second time in 16 months, after the emergence of soaring cases across the territory.
In the quiet of Sunday morning, recently crowned Steelman and Half Iron Man champion Mark Stephenson made a move heading into Little Mountain, before Phillippe Leroy reacted then went on to win the BVI Mountain Bike Club’s Prison Break race in 51 minutes and 06 seconds. Stephenson was second in 54.01 as the only riders to break an hour in the grueling 14 miles race.
The race took riders from Trellis Bay, over Little Mountain, over the bridge, past the prison, over to Little Dix Hill, down to the Police Station, out to HLSCC and return.
“The race was very nice but unfortunately, Mark decided to go very hard on the hill in Little Mountain,” Leroy noted. “As soon as he took the corner, he was going hard. I was chatting with Biff, and I’m like oh, oh, I better stop speaking and push harder. So I stayed with him, but didn’t want to kill my legs before going to the prison. I stayed with him till we began the climb and I was like, let me go at my own pace.”
Stephenson said he attacked going into Little Mountain for one reason. “It’s the only way I was going to have a chance with him—just see if I could tire him out,” Stephenson told Island Sun Sports. “It didn’t work. He still got it.”
At the end of the day, Leroy said he did a lot better than expected. “My heart rate went very high and then on the flat I kept the power because I knew he would try to catch me and really wanted to beat me,” he noted.
Sephenson said Leroy had more in the tank than he did. “I was riding hard too and I just couldn’t catch up to him,” he said.
Revealing his strategy, Leroy said on the ascent towards the prison after passing the bridge, he likes to go hard. There are some areas after that he uses for recovery and hopes someone uses the opportunity to catch him, so when they go uphill again, they’re dead.
“I do the opposite. I go easy, let them catch me then I go hard again for the next part, so I do that all the time,” he explained. “On the steep hill by the prison, I put a gear harder on that one because I like to just stand up and push. If somebody sees me, it depresses them really. It’s like, oh, oh, he’s going hard.”
Both riders were coming off a 2-day 220 miles charity ride.
“He’s still got it, that’s for sure,” Stephenson said of Leroy. “I’m going to have to keep working hard to catch up to him.”
Final results: 1: Phillippe Leroy, 51 minutes and 06 seconds. 2. Mark Stephenson, 54.01. 3. Bif Smitt, 1:02.30. 4. Shane Donovan, 1:10.10. 5. Adrian Dale, 1:18.19. 6. Kay Reddy, 1:20.53. 7. Gethin Jones, 1:25.45. 8. Johan Block, 1:26.45.