Although Sunday’s Triple Bypass Road Race was the third event on the Virgin Islands Cycling Federation’s calendar, it was the first road race since last year’s cycling season came to a halt. As the name may imply, the three-lap course was challenging for the legs and the heart.
With the start of the race at the former Cafe Kaleidoscope, cyclists took off heading north to first climb the backside of Lowry Hill. Most of the action took place on the second climb, which was over the Christiansted Bypass, then continued up Constitution Hill.
The Elite field rode together on the first lap, without any dares, along Southside Road back to the starting line. Stephen Swanton, who has been a leading cyclist in the Virgin Islands for many years, made a strategic attack on the second lap and gained over a minute lead on the rest of the field. Mikey Dizon-Bumann dropped the trailing pack on the downhill of Lowry Hill on the third lap. Danielky Cedeño also surged to pull away from the Elite field, which put them in a position to overtake Swanton in the Anna’s Hope area.
It came down to a sprint finish for the 36-mile race, with Cendeño in first in a time of 1:55:27. Dizon-Bumann was second in 1:55:28 and Swanton was third in 1:55:29.
The large Expert group completed two laps of the same 13-mile course. The cyclists worked together on the first lap, then veteran triathlete, Wayne Nichols, broke away and advanced by over 30 seconds to cross the line alone in a time of 1:17:54. Valentino Gario had a solid race but was challenged right to the finish line by Robin Seila. With the same finish times of 1:18:18, Gario was second and Seila was third.
The Sport and Masters riders were grouped together for the 13-mile race. The Sport division was dominated by the Mango Tree Riders, a Sunday morning cycling club. Marcello Jacobs finished first, well ahead of the group, in a time of 39:47. Luis Martinez was second in 40:07 while Luke Defour, the club’s organizer, was third. Chris Dorsey was first in the Master’s division in a time of 41:46. James Meyers was second in 42:33 while Kevin Moran was third.
A field of seven competed in the Women’s division, completing the 13-mile course with pride. Jackie Roback, who is new to bike racing, grabbed the gold in a time of 46:48. Laverne Fredericksen was second in 47:05 while Junior cyclist, Annelia Graham, was third in 50:27.
The next race on the VI Cycling Federation calendar is the Anything Goes slated for Sunday, May 23. In this race, cyclists can ride on any type of bike and use any course to get from the fort in Christiansted to the fort in Frederiksted.
For more information, call 643-6420.