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Arnold times her winning move to perfection

Inspired move: Arnold beat Bonnett with a late dash for the line

Gabriella Arnold won the women’s title in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race with an inspired dash for the line on Tuesday.

The talented youngster, who is back on the island for the summer after attending Marian University, left it until the final corner to make her move, eventually winning in 32min 42.002sec.

Sarah Bonnett was second in 32:43.012, with Nicole Mitchell rounding off the podium in third in 32:44.048.

As promised, the race was a battle from the start with Julia Hawley, the Winners Edge rider, setting a ferocious pace almost immediately.

Unfortunately for Hawley her attempt to win was over almost as soon as it began with a mechanical problem taking her out of the race on the climb up past Fort Scaur. Hawley eventually finished eighth in 34:40.986, after Tammy Ingham gave up her bike to her more experienced team-mate.

Despite that Ingham also managed to finish the race after waiting for a replacement ride and came in tenth, some five minutes behind the rest of the field in 40:30.797.

While that was going on, April Joyce, the Madison-Digicel rider, was making a break for it at the front of the field, forcing the other Winners Edges riders and Tristan Narraway, the sole junior entrant, to give chase.

As the race progressed, the attacks kept coming with a number of attempts from Penelope Butterfield to split the field. A perfectly timed effort by Joyce injected a powerful surge in the lead up to Waterlot Hill, causing the group to break up.

Nicole Mitchell countered this move on the approach to Burnt House Hill, where Arnold lit things up with a stinging attack. When finally caught by Martina Olcheski-Bell, of Madison-Digicel, Karen Smith took over the role for Winners Edge and dug deep along Front Street.

At this stage the win was there for the taking and as the riders swept through the corner of Queen Street, every competitor knew that the first person to the final corner would be hard to beat.

Arnold timed her killer-move to perfection as she took the inside line at speed, catching Bonnett by surprise.

The talented youngster sprinted to the finish for her very first and deserved win in Bermuda’s most prestigious cycling race.