Bajan cyclist king of Trini Avenue
PORT OF SPAIN – Barbadian cyclist Jamol Eastmond was crowned “King Of The Avenue” when he produced an excellent tactical ride to capture the featured 30-lap event for international riders at the 2014 Beacon Cycling on the Avenue on Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook earlier this week.
In a race that had a lot of money up for grabs – 17 primes totalling TT$18 000 – the locally based Heatwave cyclist opted not to contend for any lap prizes, but sat in the middle of the peloton and bided his time.
He was never in contention in the early stages as Canada’s Jean-Michel Lachance, Yondi Schmidt of the Netherlands, Team Foundation’s Dominican Republic rider Raphael Meran, Barbados’ Darren Matthews of Team Cocos, Rigtec Sonics’ Varun Maharajh, PSL Wells Services’ French rider Matthieu Jeannes, Adam Alexander of Team Foundation and Emile Abraham, riding for Incycle Predator, all disputed the early lead.
Jeannes would capture the prime on laps one and eight; Matthews on lap four; Schmidt on laps six and 12; and Alexander on lap ten as the race experienced several lead changes with riders jostling to earn lap prizes.
Speaking after his victory, Eastmond, who has had a prolific run of form over the past year, said it was one of his toughest wins yet in Trinidad.
“It was pretty hard to move up during the early stages of the race as so many riders were jostling to win primes, but as it progressed the pace slowed and I was able to gradually work my way forward.
“My team helped me every step of the way as they protected me and told me to stay calm when I was a bit off the pace.”
Eastmond, who collected $10 000 for the victory, said he was ecstatic with the win and rated it as one of his best in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Beacon usually puts on some of the best cycling events and this year it was very competitive so this ranks among the best.”
Of the ten primes on offer between laps 13 and 24, nine were shared by Team Foundation, who captured five and Team Cocos, who snared four with its Colombian rider Camilo Ulloa capturing the biggest one of TT$2 000 on lap 24.
However, the People’s Prime on lap 27 – amounting to TT$4 000 was taken by Slipstream’s American rider Jake Silverberg as the other lap prize contenders were beginning to show signs of fatigue.
Two laps from home it was Matthews, Abraham and Lachance leading a pretty tight bunch and on the penultimate lap the peloton was still tightly group with no rider bidding to break away from the pack. And when the riders swung off the final bend to set their sights on the finish, it was still anybody’s race.
In the drive to the wire, five riders in Abraham, Schmidt, Alexander, Eastmond and Sanchez Tavera of Team Foundation threw down the gauntlet, with Schmidt holding the slightest of advantages.
However, Eastmond, who probably had the freshest pair of legs among the five, would change gears to blow past his rivals and seal victory by mere inches at the line.
Schmidt held second with Sanchez, Alexander and Abraham filling third, fourth and fifth in that order. (Trinidad Express)