Richardson basks in winning feeling
Chequan Richardson of Bicycle Works and Sarah Bonnett of Madison Digicel rode to victory in yesterday’s Tokio Millennium Re Road Race in Smith’s parish.
Richardson, 21, won the Adult A race that included Shannon Lawrence, Mark Hatherley, Grand Prix-winner Dave McComas and last year’s champion Arthur Pitcher to record another victory after last month’s success in the 42-mile Winners Edge Road Race.
Richardson made his break on the sixth and final lap and rounded the final bend outside John Smith’s Bay with a clear lead, crossing the line in 1hr 48min 25sec to finish 20 seconds ahead of Allan Mooney of Tokio.
Philip Mace of Madison Digicel was third, a further five seconds behind in 1:48:40 and Mark Hatherley fourth in 1:48:58.
The top four made a break after three laps and remained as the lead group into the final lap when Richardson was able to distance himself and hold on for the victory.
“It feels really good to finally get another win, the last one was a month ago on a similar course, a hilly course, and the only difference was that the finish line was on a hill while here it was downhill,” said Richardson after the 41.1-mile race.
A strong north wind made it challenging for the riders going along Harrington Sound Road towards Flatts, but easier coming back on South Shore towards the finish line.
“On the third lap just before the breakaway I actually jammed my gears at the top of the climb and almost crashed, but I was able to collect myself,” Richardson said.
“We broke away just before the turn on Harrington Sound and stayed together. I left them on the climb [on Flatts Hill] and was surprised they didn’t chase me, but the good thing about not having a team-mate in the break is no one wanted to pull back one person to help another person.
“I just hope I can keep it up and keep it going up to the Island Games and the rest of the year.”
The win will give Richardson plenty of confidence going into the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race on May 25, coming out of the east for the first time.
“It’s a hilly course and a little bit shorter so it may not work in my favour, I prefer the longer races,” Richardson said.
Bonnett outsprinted Karen Smith to win the women’s race, completing the four laps in 1:23.09.771 with Smith, of Winners Edge, right behind in 1:23.09.989. Martina Olcheski Bell and Wenda Roberts were third and fourth, almost two minutes back.
“It was beautiful coming back along the finish stretch, but heading along Harrington Sound and up Flatts Hill there was feisty winds,” Bonnett said.
“We got in a fast breakaway, two riders from Bicycle Works, Karen Smith and myself. On the third lap Karen and I broke away and worked really well together.
“I tried to break away from her on the last hill and got quite a big gap going downhill using my mountain- biking skills, but she is so strong and pulled back up and it became a sprint.
“It was great to see quite a lot of women out today, a friendly but competitive atmosphere. It was enjoyable; I can have a big fat breakfast when I get home and not feel so guilty.”
Top female Zoenique Williams, riding in the Adult A category, had a disappointing day when she pulled out after a couple of laps after feeling unwell.
Luis Martin of Bicycle Works won the Adult B category in a time of 1:35:19 over the five laps to a sprint finish, where just one second separated the top-six finishers, with Dave Collins and Chris Roque second and third.
Ricky Smith edged out Winners Edge team-mate Terry Thomas to win the Adult C race, finishing the four laps in 1:20:52.
It was an encouraging achievement for Smith who needed emergency medical treatment overseas in March.
“It was a good race today, conditions didn’t help much and in the end it was riding smart and using race tactics because of the amount of wind,” said Smith, whose son Rico was competing in the Adult B race.
“I knew I could outsprint any of them and just used that to my advantage by just staying to the front. I was riding B last year but had a medical problem so I’m just working myself back to fitness.”