NATIONAL junior cyclist Jesse Mentor won the Independence Cycling Challenge 46.8-kilometres Road Race held on Sunday on the John Compton Highway.
The 15-lap event started with 32 riders, including also senior national cyclists Kirk Maraj, who crashed in the final kilometre on the wet road, resulting in broken collar bone, and Kluivert Mitchel, with abrasions and scratches on his knees and elbows.
An early break by Mentor, representing the junior national squad, and Winston Williams of Excellers, lasted until Maraj (Project Breakaway), Jordan Richard (Excellers), Donald Joseph and Kluivert Mitchel (National Junior Squad) bridged the gap to catch up with the leaders. With two laps to go, Andrew Norbert (Mon Repos), Josiah Murrel (Excellers) and Fidel Esnard (Project Breakaway) joined in as the pace slowed down considerably for the last 4 laps.
With nine riders leading in the final lap and wet roads towards the end of the event, Murrel went down in a crash with 2 kilometres to go. With 200 metres to go after a strong acceleration for the finish, Kirk Maraj went down.
Mentor won in a time of 1 hour, 23 minutes and 7 seconds, ahead of Joseph in second place in 1 hour, 23 minutes and 39 seconds, Richard third in 1 hour, 23 minutes and 7 seconds, Williams fourth in 1 hour, 23 minutes and 14 seconds and Esnard fifth in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 9 seconds.
Meanwhile, in the 9.3-kilometre Team Time Trial, which consisted of four riders per team, Project Breakaway named themselves “Los Amigos” (Kurt and Kirk Maraj, Gillan Moses and Kenneth Mathurin) won in a time of 14 minutes and 51 seconds, with second place going to Excellers Cycling Club (Winston Williams, Jordan Richard, Josiah Murrel and Calixte Williams) in a time of 15 minutes and 14 seconds, with the National Junior Cycling Squad coming in third with a time of 15 minutes and 20 seconds.
In the Mountain Bike 3.1-kilometres race, Raoul Huggins won in a time of 6 minutes and 22 seconds, with Richard Poleon’s time of 6 minutes and 34 seconds landing him second place and Mathew Louis in a tie of 6 minutes 35 seconds.