NATIONAL road race champion Antonius Jn. Baptiste of Dennery maintained his good riding form for 2016 as he rode to an emphatic victory in the Saint Lucia Cycling Association’s 65-kilometre 50-lap circuit road race held on Sunday at South Shore in Vieux Fort.
With all eyes on the road champion, it was steady riding for the first five laps until a group of four riders including juvenile Kluivert Mitchel, along with Andrew Norbert and Winston Williams, got away to form a breakaway. This group stayed together until the 15km mark when Mitchel was unable to hold on, leaving only three riders in the lead.
By the 20km mark, Jn. Baptiste made an attack and went on a break on his own, leaving Norbert and Williams in pursuit as the two continued to work together in an effort to bridge the gap.
Meanwhile, a small bunch comprising Dornal Joseph, Joel Mentor, Jessie Mentor, Josiah Murrell and Sherkel Aubert was further back on the circuit. Jn. Baptiste in the lead would not let up despite Norbert and Williams chasing. Further back, Aubert and Murrell were off the back of the third group and Jessie Mentor was out of the race whilst Jn. Baptiste slowly started increasing his lead.
With about 20 laps to go Jn. Baptiste lapped the third group (1.3km ahead) and was in pursuit of lapping the second group comprising Norbert and Williams. With just 12 laps to go, the experienced Williams bolted away from Norbert in pursuit of Jn Baptiste. But Jn. Baptiste upped the tempo, lapping everyone in the race with Williams being the last to get lapped with just under two laps to go.
Final results – Antonius Jn Baptiste 1st in a time of 1 hour, 54 minutes and 19.81 seconds, 2nd – Winston Williams (Excellers) in a time of 1 hour, 56 minutes and 48.69 seconds, 3rd – Andrew Norbert – Junior (Mon Repos) in 1 hour, 57 minutes and 34.40 seconds, 4th Dornal Joseph – Junior (Dennery) in a time of 2 hours, 00 minutes and 18.09 seconds and 5th Joel Mentor – Junior (Mon Repos) 2 hours, 02 minutes and 37.80 seconds.
Meanwhile, the 13km-10 laps for 14 and under riders started together with the elite category and was won by Quami Robinson of Mon Repos in a time of 26 minutes and 30.93 seconds, with second place going to Que Anthony of (Excellers) in a time of 28 minutes and 46.96 seconds and third place Ken Eugene of (Excellers) in a time of 29 minutes and 12.03 seconds.