Posted on

Darren wins Trini race

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Social Share

The Caribbean just isn’t enough for Darren Matthews.
Local cycling’s boy wonder has done it again, taking his talents south this time to win the under-23 category of the Unity Cycling Race in Trinidad and Tobago last week.
It’s just another crowning achievement – and the latest overseas victory – for the phenomenal 21-year-old talent, who already had four podium finishes outside these shores this season.
Riding with the United States-based Team Cocos, Matthews finished the gruelling ten-stage event in sixth-place overall, coming home as the second Caribbean rider behind Raphael Merane of the Dominican Republic in a race billed as the Caribbean’s Tour de France.
Colombian Edwin Vanegas – the world points race champion a year ago – was the overall winner, crossing the line just 34 seconds ahead of Matthews, whose training partner Jaime Ramirez, came third.
Fellow Bajan Philip Clarke was tenth overall after coming back from as far as 34th going into the final stage, as he and Matthews got an eight-man breakaway that finished a full eight minutes ahead of the peloton.
Barbadian Jamol Eastmond lost some ground on that same stage and crossed the line 14th – third in the under-23 category, while countryman Jason Perryman was down the field in 21st. Local junior Brandon Wilkie dropped out of the race on stage nine.
Matthews and Ramirez are now preparing for the UCI-sanctioned Tobago Cycling Classic with a one-month training stint back in Colombia.
Recently returned from a professional stint in Miami with Team Cocos, Matthews has victories in the United States and Colombia after winning the country’s first ever endurance medal in a bronze-medal ride at the Pan American Cycling Championships in March. (JM)