The Flying Frenchman sizzled again and left all comers in his wake.
The Cayman Islands Cycling Association’s national time trial championships took place on 18 October along South Sound and there were no surprises in the men’s event.
The weather conditions held the promise of some fast times out on the flat 10-mile course, with cyclists starting at Paradise and heading down to the Grand Harbour roundabout before racing back to the finish line at Paradise.
The event saw a good field turn out, even though in the minds of many, the result was a foregone conclusion.
Jerome Ameline had stamped his authority on the event over the last couple of years and it seemed that the Revolutions cycling instructor would again be tough to beat, in spite of a nagging back injury.
A couple of good times were set early on, with Eugene Bonthuys setting the bar with a 22 minute 22 seconds finish, good enough for third overall.
He remained at the top of the leader board until recent Ironman Hawaii finished Jasper Mikkelsen stormed home with an excellent 21:47, good enough for second overall.
The result showed that Mikkelsen had come out of the gruelling Ironman world championships even stronger than before in spite of an injury that held him back during the event itself.
Starting last as defending champion, Ameline ripped the field to shreds, catching not only his minute man and eventual fourth place finisher Michael Stomps, but also catching the cyclist who started two minutes ahead of him, Cayman Classic Series champion Steve Abbott. Stomps did not give up easily and once passed by Ameline chased hard to limit his losses, also catching and passing Abbott shortly before the finish.
The revelation of the race was Martin van Zyl, who clocked a very impressive 22:57 for fifth overall, establishing himself as one to watch in future events.
Cayman Islands Helicopters pilot Jerome Begot also performed well on his new time trial steed, claiming seventh place overall and showing that it might be about the bike after all, contrary to the title of Lance Armstrong’s biography.
Justine Plenkiewicz continued her run of form, claiming the women’s division to add this title to the win she took in the first Reefathlon time trial a couple of weeks earlier.
Chris Sutton remained unchallenged in his dominance of the master’s division with a storming 24:18, which not only claimed him the division but also placed him in the top ten overall.
Among the juniors, Toby Sutton, Chris’s son, continued the family’s winning tradition by claiming the title with a time of 25:54, with Julian Johnson finishing in second position.
- Photographs of the event can be viewed online at caycompass.com/photogallery/time trial and purchased from Cayman Free Press.
The next big cycling event on the calendar is the second edition of the Reefathlon time trial, set for 22 November at the Reef Resort in East End. For more information, visit reefathlon.com.