Jacob Kelly powering to the finish line en route to a silver medal showing in the time trial. (Picture by Deidre Mayers.)
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Jacob Kelly delivered the goods. And not just him either.
Amber Joseph won yet another medal for Barbados, while Kelly finally broke through with one of his own as part of the hosts’ successful showing in yesterday’s time trial segment of the Junior Caribbean Elite Road Race Championships.
Riding two loops of the 10.1 kilometres course through Lucas Street and Thicketts, Kelly placed second with a time of 29 minutes and 16.52 seconds after leading home Kyle Gill (30:13.97) in a spectacular two-three finish for the Bajans.
It marked the end of one of cycling’s most heart-breaking runs, which saw the luckless 18-year-old fall just short time and time again following three straight fourth-place finishes at the same event.
“I placed a lot of pressure on myself but everyone came to me and told me to do my best and I can tell you there’s nothing like performing at home,” said a visibly relieved Kelly.
“I wasn’t expecting it but I trained really hard for it, so I’m really happy I achieved it. The course was in perfect condition and everything went to plan.”
Joseph feasted on some home cooking too, after also copping a silver medal by completing the one-lap women’s race in 16:10.58, behind winner Alyssa Rowse, of Bermuda.
The medal-winning performance was just the latest one in a long line for the UK-based teenager, who won gold and silver at this year’s Junior Pan American Track Championships.
And she wasted no time adding to that tally after quickly making up ground on two of the three riders who started ahead of her in the time trial.
“I’ve never done a time trial like this before with a time trial bike, so I just gave it my all and I’m happy to come away with a silver medal,” said Joseph.
“It just feels good to be back representing Barbados on home ground and being able to put another medal around my neck.”
But she couldn’t keep pace with Rowse, who got out to such a flier that she crossed the line before the two women and some of the juvenile riders who started ahead of her.
Her compatriot Matthew Oliveira (28:00.53) turned in an even more dominant performance to win the junior boys’ category by more than a minute.
Beginning the time trial as the fourth rider to leave the starter, the recently crowned Commonwealth champ seemingly started slowly after passing just one cyclist on that first lap.
However, Oliveira picked up the tempo over that final 10.1 km to cross the line well ahead of the previous two riders.
Kelly also made up ground on the men ahead of him after Gill had a surprisingly kick for home to cement his bronze-medal ride.
Earlier, Luke Staffner missed out on giving Barbados an opening medal in the juvenile event when he placed fourth with a 16:11.97 clocking in the one-lap, 10.1 km event.
Trinidadian Enrique De Comarmond was a clear winner in 14:08.35, while Nicholas Narraway (15:07.08) copped the silver to account for the first of Bermuda’s three medals on the day.
Rene Gayral (15:37.37) of Antigua and Barbuda was third. (JM)