Video & Results: BBA Road Race Championships

June 28, 2016

[Written by Greg Hopkins] Early morning thunder, lightning and heavy rain did not deter the islands top road cyclist from challenging both the adverse weather conditions, and each other for the coveted title of 2016 National Road Race Champion in the Male Open, Female Open, Junior Male and Junior Female categories on Sunday morning at Southside St.Davids.

The action was guaranteed to fierce in the Male Open race, especially with the islands top rider Dominique Mayho taking a break from his racing in Belgium to come back and attempt to lift the title which has as much significance internationally as it does locally rewarding him with UCI [Union Cycliste International] points with a victory, and as such opening the door to some of the major international events for the year.

The unenviable task of trying controlling Mayho who rides for Team Madison fell squarely on the shoulders of the other major teams; Winners Edge. Tokio and Bicycle Works, and when the 67 mile race got underway it was clear that it was going to be a tough day for everyone including Mayho as a number of riders set a fast early pace on the first of 5 laps.

Traveling west on Kindley Field Road to Swizzle Inn roundabout the riders would complete the first of two loops around Harrington Sound before going back to Southside and then completing four more laps of a shorter loop which would take them back to Swizzle Inn and back to the start/finish.

On the completion of the first loop of Harington Sound Mayho decided to test the rest of the field in an effort to keep the already high paced race active and in doing so opened up a gap. As he looked behind he saw two riders, team mate Phil Mace and Winners Edge rider Mark Hatherely attempting to bridge, and not wanting to attempt a solo ride for the remaining 60 miles he eased up to make a breakaway group of three. With these three in a break the writing was on the wall with the pressure now on Dave McComas and his Tokio team-mates, and Neil De Ste Croix’s Bicycle Works to orchestrate a chase.

With the three leaders working tirelessly together they continued to open up the gap, but with the big chase pack they had not time to relax, and with the rain now passed and the sun out, the heat and humidity looked to be the biggest challenge.

As the miles ticked by, strong efforts by a number of riders to reel in the leaders would come to naught and it was Mayho who expectedly made the decisive move in the final stages of the race, dropping his breakaway companions to secure his title unchallenged at the finish line 40 seconds ahead of Mace who outsprinted Hatherley on the line the three riders deservedly rounding out the podium positions.

The women’s 42 mile race over four of the shorter loops to Swizzle Inn roundabout and back looked to be an interesting event with all the strongest riders on the start line but no standout favorite promising a much more closely contested affair than the men’s race.

Sinclair Packwood Memorial Road Race winner Gabriella Arnold, Zonique Williams making a rare appearance following sickness this season, Karen Bordage and Karen Smith were all names being bantered around for the win, with Ashley Estwanik a newcomer to bike racing expected to challenge.


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With the junior women starting at the same time, Alysa Rowse was, despite riding one lap less was clearly going to be a major factor. After a cautious first lap Bordage and Williams made a break and opened up a lead that would last for over half a lap, with Estwanik at the fore in the pull them back just before the turnaround at Swizzle Inn roundabout.

At the end of the third lap Alysa Rowse rode of the front to take the win in the Junior Women’s race and winning her first National Championship with Cassandra McPhee coming in second.

After a series of attacks taking place after the catch the field was reduced in number as riders were dropped, with a pack sprint now appearing inevitable. On the final lap Karen Bordage of Team Tokio made a strong attack of the front which she impressively held to the finish holding off a late charge from, Nicole Mitchell and Karen Smith both of Team Winners Edge.

In the much anticipated Junior Men’s race, also of 42 miles, Matthew Oliveira would start as the favorite after a road season that has seen him dominate local racing in the top men’s A category, but with Winners Edge team mate Kaden Hopkins, who also races in the top adult category during the regular season also being a factor all year, and finishing only 5 seconds behind Oliveira in last week’s National Championship Time Trial, many were wondering if this would be a breakthrough race for the 16 year old who has based all his training and racing this season on this and the Caribbean Cycling Championships in August in St.Lucia. With Dylan Hill, National Mountain Bike Champion Robin Horsfield and Rajul Matthie also looking for the win it was clearly going to a big battle for the title.

The first two laps would finish with the field intact with nobody able to break the deadlock, but that all changed when on the third lap Oliveira, Hopkins, Horsfield and Hill broke away and opening up an insurmountable lead over the rest of the field. With Oliveira making a number of attacks Hill was gapped but after a spirited chase rejoined the others.

Oliveira made another move; Hill chased him but was caught in the middle and Horsfield with Hopkins on his wheel put in a strong effort, pulled the four back together but then paid for his efforts and had to drop off the pace.

With just three riders left to contest the finish, the podium was decided but on what order? On the final 500 meter finishing straight Oliveira drove the pace on the front, Hill closed him down and in a classic sprint finish Hopkins timed his final effort to perfection as he powered past the two and to claim the National Championship title.

The full BBA Road Race Championships 2016 results follow below [PDF here]:

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  1. Fan says:

    And how does one now choose a leader for the Caribbean Junior Cycling Championships? Is it Oliveira or Hopkins?