Young Kelly nabs road race
Local cycling is now a family affair. Joshua Kelly didn’t get that elusive double after all, but kid brother Jacob created his own piece of history by capturing the national road race crown yesterday in his very first season of riding Category 1.
Competing in a star-studded field, the younger Kelly finally pulled away from Joshua and another former champ in Jamol Eastmond on the final climb of Stewart’s Hill before finishing the nine-lap, 120k Bushy Park circuit in three hours, 21 minutes and 44 seconds.
It proved the fitting comeback for a talented 18-year-old, who just missed out on winning the national time trial title a day earlier when he came second to his older brother by a mere half second.
And Jacob very nearly lost this one too, as the leaders initially dropped him in Stewart’s Hill on lap five before Eastmond opened up a ten-second lead on him and Joshua with two laps remaining.
But the teenaged Kelly battled back both times, using Joshua’s help to reconnect with the peloton on the first occasion before returning the favour by hauling in Eastmond.
“I panicked at first when Jamol got away but then I got in my zone and from the time I saw him having trouble in the wind then I knew I could catch back so everything played out perfectly in the end,” explained Jacob.
“My brother rode for me for most of the race and then left it up to me for the last lap. I watched my power throughout the race and I knew when it was time for me to give it out then nobody should be able to ride with me so I gauged myself.”
Eastmond (3:23.20) eventually outsprinted Joshua (3:23.22) at the line for second place before the Kellys’ Massy United Insurance clubmates Gregory Vanderpool (3:28.31), Philip Clarke (3:33.27) and Dominic Howard (3:42.01) accounted for the next three positions.
It was a complete team effort from the Massy gang, who strung out the peloton on the first climb up Stewart’s Hill before Clarke’s attack on the second lap reduced the lead group to eight riders.
That pack eventually roped Clarke back in until Vanderpool launched a solo attack of his own to open up a lead of 51 seconds.
Clarke, Howard, Kyle Gill and Eastmond’s Jumbo Golden Wheelers teammate Edwin Sutherland then couldn’t respond to the subsequent break, leaving the two Kelly boys and Eastmond in the chase group behind Vanderpool.
They eventually caught Vanderpool on the fifth lap before he too dropped off the pace with a flat tyre when Jacob launched an attack up Stewart’s Hill.
Eastmond then caught the Kellys napping with two laps remaining, waiting for them to “feed” in Stewart’s Hill to make a quick and unexpected burst up the incline.
Jacob then helped his brother to catch Eastmond on the decent to Bushy Park before Eastmond unfortunately caught a bout of cramp on the final lap.
“I had energy left but my legs just locked up and physically I wasn’t able. I recovered a bit after I got to the top and I managed to catch back Josh Kelly but I wasn’t able to catch Jacob as he was out of sight,” said Eastmond.
“I wanted to see who had legs in that penultimate lap but all the work I did by myself ended up in me paying the price.”
Gill eventually won the shorter junior event while unattached rider Nebut Rosemond held off ICBL Fugen’s Allan Maynard to win Category 3.
Malavi Velloza nipped FTR Cycling teammate Wingrove Thomas at the line in Category 4 before Wayne Edwards completed the time trial-road race double by winning the over-50 division ahead of Greg Downie and Reginald Jones.
Junior Proverbs took top honours in the masters’ category and Team Swift’s Krissi McKinney won the women’s title. (JM)