Cayman course record broken

The Cayman Classics Cycling Series,
presented by Karim Awe of Cayman Insurance Centre, finished on a high note on
Sunday, 30 May.

The final event of the five-race
series, organised by the Cayman Islands Cycling Association, took the shape of
a 19-mile individual time trial held at the Reef Resort in East End, forming
part of the resort’s popular Reefathlon series of events.

Going into the event, the top spot
in the open men’s division was still up for grabs, with series leader Steve
Abbott not able to compete, leaving the door open for second-placed Michele
Smith to claim the title. However, Smith had to finish fourth or higher in
order to claim the series win, a tough ask against a strong field of 49 participants.

In the ladies’ division, Pam
Travers had already secured the series title, but the battle was still on for
the other podium places, with Caroline Cahill holding a narrow lead over Toni
Pinkerton.

Although the masters’ division was
a closely contested affair, Chris Sutton seemed to have the series well in
hand, even though past form suggested that second placed Laurent Weber would
have the upper hand in the time trial.

For the first time the junior
division was very hotly contested, with a single point separating leader
Michael Testori from defending series champion Toby Sutton.

The faster cyclists set off towards
the end of the field, which meant that the spectators were kept in suspense
about the likely outcome of the event until the very end.

Much was expected of local course
record holder Jerome Ameline who had recently made his comeback after
recovering from a training accident. However, Ameline fell just short of
reaching the podium this time, well short of his record-setting form.

Triathlete Johan Heath made his
first visit to the podium with an outstanding ride after a series plagued by
mechanical issues and bad luck. However, it was fellow triathlete Jasper
Mikkelsen who really impressed, setting a new course record of 42:38 as he crossed
the line. Mikkelsen’s record was to stand for a mere 13 seconds before Smith
crossed the line to set a new local course record of 41:51 and in so doing
claim not only the win in the event, but also the win in the series. Setting a
new local course record also earned Smith a $250 bounty from the Reef Resort.

In the ladies’ division, early
starter Helen Wauchope produced an excellent ride, good enough to claim third
place in the event. In her first cycling race of the season, triathlete Justine
Plenkiewicz showed her class by taking second place. However, no-one could
catch Pinkerton who claimed the win, thereby elevating herself into second
place in the series.

Among the masters Weber lived up to
his status as pre-race favourite, taking the win ahead of Chris Sutton, who
claimed the series. Reef Resort manager Doug Steeves finished in third place.

The junior division delivered a
number of surprises. Newcomer Sebastian Legras, participating in his first
cycling race, claimed third place. However, all eyes were on the battle between
Toby Sutton and Testori. After battling the entire series in order to build up
points, the two were locked in a battle to the end, with the winner of the
event also certain to claim the series.

In the end it was Testori who managed
to claim the win ahead of Toby Sutton, leading to the crowning of a new junior
champion.

The division winners each received
a free night at the Reef Resort for the next Reefathlon event, planned for 26
September. According to Sarah-Jane Whitehill, marketing coordinator at the Reef
Resort, the event was a huge success.

“The Reef was proud to host the
final race in the Cayman Classics Series, under the Reefathlon name. The
Reefathlon is becoming increasingly popular and we were so happy to see 49
riders participate at the weekend. The next event on 26 September looks set to
be our biggest and best yet and we want to get everyone involved!” she said.

Full results for the event can be
found on the cycling association’s Facebook page (cicycling) or on the reefathlon
site (reefathlon.com).