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Horsfield rises to occasion

And they’re off: the start of the race in St Maarten

Robin Horsfield finished a creditable fifth yesterday at the Caribbean Mountain Bike Championships in St Maarten.

Racing in the Junior category, 17 to 18 years old, Horsfield is the first Bermudian to compete in the regional championships, which held its inaugural edition last year in Puerto Rico.

“I’m looking forward to bringing some of the lessons learnt here in St Maarten back to Bermuda and to my regular competition schedule,” said Horsfield, noting his appreciation of the opportunity from the Bermuda Bicycle Association to represent his country in overseas competition.

In a race that saw the junior males catch and pass a significant portion of the elite men’s field, Horsfield found himself in seventh position coming out of the starting loop and into the first major climb.

It was on that climb, where some of the already-caught elite men proved to be obstacles for the fastest oncoming junior riders, that a pair of riders from Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe opened an insurmountable lead on the rest of the field.

As the race wore on several riders succumbed to the technicality of the course, namely the large climbs, heat and humidity. Horsfield found himself alone on the course as its nature led to large gaps between riders — gaps that would not normally feature in such an event.

Peter Dunne, the BBA president, congratulated Horsfield on the historic opportunity to represent his country and the BBA.

“As our first competitor in this competition Robin has shown that he has the skills to compete at this level and should prove to be a strong national representative for Bermuda,” Dunne said.

“Even though the opportunity to compete here only came late in his season, we are impressed with his fifth-place result and know that he acquitted himself as a true competitor.”