News day / Nickolai Madray
Several of the nation’s cyclists enjoyed an entire weekend of events in the south-land as they welcomed three highly anticipated tournaments, the San Fernando Cycling Extravaganza, the Lucas Brothers Memorial Classic and the 2018 Southern Games. The first tournament for the local cyclists was the San Fernando Cycling Extravaganza which took place,on Friday night, at Skinner Park.
PSL’s Akil Campbell stole the show at the Extravaganza, winning five of the six races he participated in on the night. His first title came in the Men’s 500m Finals where he outraced his opponents D’angello Harris and Wil Zigers, both representing Rigtech Sonics. Campbell then claimed the gold in the Elite I (six laps) event over the unattached Jabari Whiteman and Team Raiders’ Adam Alexander. The PSL cyclist got the better of Rigtech Sonic’s Harris, once again, this time in the Keirin Finals, while Haseem Mclean (unattached) rode his way to bronze in the race.
Harris thought he could manage to upset Campbell in the Match Sprint event but, a similar tale from the previous races unfolded. Campbell easily got past his closest competitor to claim his fourth gold medal on the night and gave Harris his third silver medal in the races which they battled. Campbell’s fifth gold came in the Elite Elimination event where he out pedaled his young competitors, Jabari Whiteman (unattached) and Tyler Cole (Team DPS). The PSL cyclist could have secured a clean sweep in his races, however, it was Heatwave’s Jamol Eastman who crossed the finish-line ahead of Campbell in the Open Invited 25 Lap final event. Team Raiders’ Alexander managed to secure the bronze medal, just ahead of Whiteman.
Also at the Extravaganza, Team DPS’ Dahlia Palmer also claimed three titles of her own. Her first title came in the Ladies Senior race where she defeated Rigtech Sonic’s Keiana Lester and Dominique Lovell of Breakaway. Palmer then rode her way to the Ladies Senior and Junior Keirin title, surpassing her previous opponents yet again, giving a repeat podium for the event. She then finished the night with a hat-trick of gold medals when she eluded Breakaway’s Christiane Farrah and Sonic’s Lester in the Ladies Senior and Junior 500m.
The second cycling event carded over the weekend was the Lucas Brothers Memorial Classic, which pedaled off on Saturday at the same venue. Palmer got things rolling when she transferred her form from the previous night to pedal her way to gold in the Ladies Elite (3 laps) race. She defeated Rigtech Sonic’s Lester and Heatwave’s Alexi Costa. The night started differently for PSL’s Akil Campbell as Heatwave’s Jamol Eastman hunted him again, during their first race in the Men’s 500m. Harris also kept watch of Campbell’s tail light as he finished third in the event.
The Elite II (6 laps) race saw Phoenix’s Myles Burnette riding away with the gold medal over Ronell Woods and Ashton Simpson, both representing PSL. In the Elite I (9 laps) event, Team Raiders’ Andreas Diaz won gold while his club-mate Joshua Alexander placed second and Team DPS’ Tyler Cole grabbed the bronze.
Cycling action came to a conclusion, on Sunday evening, at the Guaracara Park, Point-a-Pierre, as the curtain call of the 2018 Southern Games, where local cyclists took to the grass track. Palmer made her way once more to the top of the podium, this time in the Elite Women 1000m race. She got the better of her Heatwave opponents, Cheyenne Awai and Alexi Costa. In the Elite I and II event, Team DPS’ Garvin Nero ousted Jamol Eastman of Heatwave and PSL’s Jabari Whiteman for the gold. Derron Maillard of Chain Lynx won the Elite III (1000M) race while his club-mate Jabari Thorne took the silver medal and Peter Wilson (unattached) pedaled his way to bronze.
The 1500m Tinymites winner was Devante Lawrence from Arima Wheelers as Southclaine’s Jarel Mohammed copped silver and Aaron Matas of Rigtech Sonics came in third. Local cyclists will be anticipating the 2018 Easter Grand Prix as they are currently shifting gears and boosting their form ahead of the traditional championships.