Elcock still one to beat
RUSSELL ELCOCK IS STILL the man. Only just barely though.
In one of the most dramatic finishes to a Barbados Cycling Union (BCU) road race, Elcock just managed to hold off the fast finishing duo of Jesse Kelly and Jason “Earth” Perryman to win yesterday’s criterium on the Fontabelle circuit.
It wasn’t until over an hour after the race had finished that Elcock of WOW Fugen was adjudged to have placed first in the 40 lap event, overruling an earlier decision which had awarded the win as a tie between himself and I Exchange Team Excel’s Kelly.
The victory helped Elcock to maintain his unbeaten start to the season after also registering first place finishes in both the Sterling and Garrison Savannah criteriums, with Kelly eventually being named second, and Perryman, also of WOW Fugen, third.
However, he had seemed in danger of losing that perfect record as the three riders sprinted for the finish line situated just in front of Nation House.
But before an appreciative crowd which had gathered in hopes of a pulsating finish, the strongly built 20 year-old Elcock dug deep to edge ahead, before crossing the line by the slimmest of margins.
So close was the finish, that in the absence of a photo-finish camera, photographs had to be used to determine the winner.
“When I actually pulled out to begin my sprint I saw Earth’s wheel right alongside my pedal and I told myself this was going to be a close finish,” Elcock told NATIONSPORT while awaiting the final results.
“I told myself that I would have to lunge to the line and hope for the best, and luckily for me it worked out.”
He revealed that he was especially pleased with the manner in which he had started the season, and said that he hoped to maintain his unbeaten streak.
“It’s my third straight win and I’m very pleased with that. Obviously I have been putting in the work and one of my main goals for this year is to win as many races as I can, if not all.
“I’m using these races as preparation for the major meets such as the Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games, CAC and the Caribbean Elite Cycling Championships, so I’m very happy with my progress,” he added.
For Kelly, it marked the second successive time in which he was forced to settle for second behind Elcock, after also losing a sprint to the finish at the Garrison Savannah criterium.
“I was expecting to win if I had managed to come out of the corner first. But when I came around the turn I was in fourth, so I knew it was going to be a close one,” he admitted.
And while Elcock managed to make it three wins out of three, Joshua Kelly, who had won both of the junior criteriums ahead of yesterday’s event was forced to settle for third spot.
He was upended by WOW Fugen’s Gregory Vanderpool who won the division, while A Class Battery’s Edwin Sutherland came second.
Gregory Austin was the king of the Masters, with Reginald Jones of A Class Battery placing second and Sedwin Jones third.
John Proverbs won the Over 50’s, while G4S Team Swift copped a 1-2 in the juveniles division courtesy of Chayne Goodman and Tremaine Forde-Catwell respectively, with Jacob Kelly placing third.
Luke Staffner was first among the Tinymites, and Tyrese Rawlins won the 10-12 boys BMX race, and Jonah Kelly the 7-9 boys division.