19-year-old Jamal John of Team Coco took on some of Guyana’s top cyclists and stole the show at the fifth annual Digicel Breast Cancer Cycle race by edging the experienced Team Evolution’s Raul Leal at the tape last Sunday.
In scorching heat, John and Leal made the 30-lap race their own from the beginning, as they distanced themselves from the pack in the early stages. All that occurred as the race progressed, was that the lead increased and the battle was more for third to fifth place.
After locking wheels for the majority of the race, John and Leal edged off their seats when they hooked the turn at Thomas Lands for the final time and began swaying side to side to build the momentum, that produced a thrilling finish.
John crossed the line in a time of two hours, 54 minutes, 11.72 seconds (2h: 54m: 11.72s) while Leal finished mere inches behind in the gruelling race which began on the JB Singh Road heading to Carifesta Avenue then to Camp Street into Thomas land then back to the start at the Guyana Defense Force.
For his splendid efforts John was awarded $250,000 and trophy for first place; Leal $200,000 and trophy while third to fifth received $150,000, $100,000 and $80,000 respectively.
While it was smooth sailing for the two riders in front, 2015 champion Raynauth Jeffrey had to battle with the rest of the pack to finish in a distant third.
Fourth –place finisher Orville Hinds gave the Team Coco rider Jeffrey some challenges but Jeffrey held his composure to reach the line ahead; Christopher Griffith finished in fifth placed.
In the juniors, Raphel Leung took first while Jornell Yearwood and Christopher Cornelius finished in second and third positions respectively. Leung won the first prize of $80,000, Yearwood $50,000 and Cornelius $30,000.
The veterans’ race which comprised of 18-laps, saw the over-45 category being won by Raymond Newton, followed by Ian Jackson and Kenard Lovell while in the under-45 Junior Niles clocked a time of 1:45; 26 to win ahead of Warren McKay and Jaikaran Sukhai.
Linden’s Hazina Barrett, racing for the first time since last year’s Digicel race, copped the female category, while Keon Thomas got the better of Ozia McUally and Sean Budhan in the Mountain Bike race.
In the Novice race, Oliver Young, Joslyn Khan Greaves and Sherlane Sue Hang finished first to third respectively while in the Digicel’s staff event, Dennis Christiani emerged champion, with Kareem Baird second and Travis Ferriera third.
At the presentation ceremony, the company’s CEO Kevin Kelly thanked all the participants and onlookers for attending the event and disclosed they managed to raise close to $250,000 for the event and that the company has matched that sum to donate $500,000 to Dr. Syed Ghazi of the Cancer Institute of Guyana.
Over 100 cyclists took to the starting line which begun after Marketing Head for Digicel, Jacqueline James did a ceremonial lap with all cyclists to mark the significance of the event.
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