Eastmond going all out
ONCE CYCLING’S FORGOTTEN MAN, Jamol Eastmond surely isn’t lost on this season.
It helps that he hasn’t lost for the season either.
The in-form Rockets rider is taking his talents – and the sport’s much-hyped unbeaten streak – up north as the highlight of today’s two-hour criterium on the St Lucy Church circuit.
It’s been cycling’s biggest story of 2012, with Eastmond failing to drop a single event following a pair of season-opening wins on the road to go along with a dominant track showing earlier this month.
And that unbeaten mark might be extended to four events by day’s end, as the talented teen starts as a heavy pre-race favourite with the extremely hilly course favouring his uphill talents.
It could very well prove a repeat of his last outing, where the undefeated Rocket broke away from the peloton on the undulating Six Roads criterium before outsprinting former junior rival Russell Elcock to the finish.
Elcock will probably serve as his main challenge once again, given the AMOND Fugen standout’s proficient climbing abilities. But the two might have to continually look over their shoulders for the ever-green Greg Downie, Jason Wilson (G4S Swift) and Mario Forde, who have all proved to be more than credible uphill riders.
Former national champ Simon Clarke has yet to find his form this season, only managing a mere third-place showing in the year’s first race, and his struggles could continue as the once dominant road rider is better suited for flat circuits.
Independent cyclist Stuart Maloney is expected to extend his winning ways after notching his first victory of the season in Six Roads, but he should expect stiff competition from rivals Gregory Catwell (G4S), Reginald Jones (A-Class Batteries Golden Wheelers) and Andrew Quimby (Rockets).
Veteran rider Esther Miller-Rosemond (Fugen) will also expect to return to winners’ row after suffering a rare defeat to the visiting Sarah-Anne Brault (G4S) two weeks ago as the champion Canadian tri-athlete has since left the country.
Velo Caribe’s Marissa Bradshaw could foil those plans but she will serve as the seasoned cyclist’s lone competition in the absence of Deidre Mayers.
The G4S duo of Jesse Kelly and Brandon Wilkie are also set to renew their rivalry on a course which will start just outside the parish church before it goes on to Bentham’s, Colleton and Six Men’s. The riders will then turn left at Port Ferdinand and head to Maynard’s and Rose Hill before travelling to Benn Hill and All Saints ahead of their return to the start-finish line.