Hinds on course to retain Independence 3-stage title
Orville Hinds seem on course to retain his Independence three-stage cycle road race title after the completion
of two stages.
The Team Gillette Evolution rider won the first stage and came second in the second stage but will be heading into the final stage today as the overall leader.
Anguillan cyclist Hercules Joseph was strongest to the finish in taking the second stage of the 34th Annual Independence 3 stage cycle meet. The stage which measured approximately 60 miles raced off at 14:30 Hrs from Stelling Road, Rosignol and concluded at Carifesta Avenue, Georgetown saw Joseph outsprinting Lindener and first stage winner Orville Hinds to the finish line.
Joseph riding out of team Double Trouble crossed the line at 2 hours 34 minutes and 39 seconds after an exciting sprint battle with Team Evolution Hinds who also finished with the identical time. Raul Lear, also of team Evolution crossed the line third.
Team Double Trouble, Anguilla most successful cycling team are in good condition have currently won all seven of their local cycle meet of 2016.
On a sunny afternoon with blistering heat the cyclist welcomed the strong winds of the coastlands in what may be considered a slow ride saw few getaways with the main peloton quickly pulling in everyone that made such attempts. Mario “Pigeon” King experienced the largest lead on the peloton, opening up a lead of about 3 minutes after jumping the main pack just after an hour into the race.
Overall leader Orville Hinds and fellow Team Evolution teammate Marlon “Fishy” Williams were among the harder workers having to dig deep to rejoin the Peloton after both experiencing punctures on separate occasions. The overall quality of Team Evolution was on show with their ability to knowledgeably assess situations and quickly assist teammates in trouble.
Speaking to Guyana Times Sport Joseph explained that the course was a little difficult due to this being his first time in Guyana and experiencing the flat nature of the course. He also mentioned that he was no longer affected by the “little tightness” in his legs obtained due to his recent participation at a cycle meet in Guadeloupe that gave him a minor bother in the first stage.
However, winning the first stage was vital for Orville Hinds who is aiming to retain his title.
Orville Hinds and Team Evolution continued their dominance in Guyana cycling by claiming the first stage which rode off from Corriverton to New Amsterdam, covering an approximate distance of 46 miles of East Berbice roadways.
When the riders were sent on their way Team Coco’s Junior Niles who is a seasoned campaigner and upcoming cycling champion Andrew Hicks took the early lead. Aided by a very strong Corentyne breeze, the two maintained the lead for the first 15 miles and initially opened the gap on the platoon of about 800 meters. Defending champion Hinds, did not challenge Niles initially rather, waited on his team mates while Niles and Hicks kept moving ahead. However, Hinds found company in Teammate Michael Anthony and Linden rider Jornel Crawford and together the trio pedaled in the two front runners. The five supported each other to ensure they were going to be the first across the finish line at Main and Alexander Streets in New Amsterdam.
With five miles remaining to the finish, Anthony came off of his seat and forced the others to follow with Hicks unable maintain the blistering pace. Crawford endured the challenge for the next two miles then gave it up, allowing the remaining three to challenge for top finishes. Hinds was the first to cross the finish line in a time of 1 hour 41 minutes and 14 seconds. He was followed closely by Anthony and Niles. For Hinds, winning the stage was the first step in retaining the title he won in 2015.
“It was a great challenge; we have a good strong team so we are just looking to defend right now. I think we can pull this off…I feel good, good health, I think I can win this” were the words of Hinds after crossing the finish line. He said he is confident of winning the overall race having just competed in a five-stage race in French Guiana where he also won a stage.
The first stage was a tough one for him because of the lack of team support from Team Gillette Evolution at the top of the race. In second was Michael Anthony followed by Junior Niles, Marlon Williams and Shaquille Agard.
Orville Hinds with the time of 4H:15M:36S is the overall leader heading into the final stage which starts tomorrow in Linden at 8 hours and concludes on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown at approximately 10 hours 30. Rounding off the top five in the exact order are Michael Anthony (Evolution) 4:16:05, Junior Niles (Coco) 4:17:25, Marlon Williams (Evolution) 4:17:26 and Shaquille Agard (LBF) 4:17:29.