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Downie captures season finale

Justin Marville

Downie captures season finale

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Winning never gets old for Greg Downie.
Even if he is.
Cycling’s evergreen veteran proved the only number that matters is the one given for position, as the independent 59-year-old rider turned back the clock to win yesterday’s season finale on the Garfield Sobers Roundabout course.
It was a fitting finish to an otherwise miserable season for the seasoned campaigner, who hadn’t won a single road race for the year while battling injury and mechanical problems.
But redemption was inevitably his, even if it didn’t come until the very last lap of the year’s final event.
With the peloton focused on keeping road race champ Darren Matthews in check, Downie and Reginald Jones made their break at the Errol Barrow roundabout before truly opening a substantial gap on the uphill climb towards the Garfield Sobers roundabout.
However, Downie came back downhill virtually by himself, leaving the A Class Battery Golden Wheelers veteran to settle for second overall and first in the masters category.
Team Aspire’s Jamol Eastmond eventually edged Matthews (Team G4S Swift) for third overall and second in the seniors during a big sprint for the finish.
It was about the only time that the race’s pace resembled anything close to quick, as the peloton completed a mere 11 laps in an hour-long event that made Independence Day parades look like drag races.
So slow was the tempo that junior Jesse Kelly threatened to ride away with the event just three laps into the race after opening up a 1,000 metre lead on the main group.
At one point, the G4S Swift rookie held a 65-second lead on the pack only three laps shy of the finish, having led for seven laps while the peloton never seemed remotely interested in even breaking a sweat.
But Matthews and Eastmond pushed the tempo and shaved 30 seconds off the gap just a half lap later before eventually helping the chase group to haul in Kelly at the start of the tenth lap.
The pace dropped again though, with everyone seemingly settled on a sprint for the finish, before Downie and Jones jumped the pack.
Elcock (AMOND Fugen) beat out Kelly in that sprint to maintain his two-year unbeaten streak in the juniors while his club mate Kristin Vanderpool came third in that category.
Fugen’s Ajani Miller lapped the G4S Swift pair of Tremaine Forde-Catwell and Jacob Miller on his way to capturing honours in the tiny mite division while Liam Lovell (G4S Swift) got the better of his teammate Josh Kelly for the juvenile crown.
In the over-50s, Velo Caribe’s John Proverbs was victorious over Ronald Harding of Fugen and Leonard Puckerin was the lone category four rider to finish the event.