The recently concluded Cayman
Classics Cycling Series, presented by Karim Awe of Cayman Insurance Centre,
showed that cycling in Cayman is in excellent health.
All categories were eagerly contested,
with the series showing healthy growth especially in the ladies’ division as
well as among the juniors. Both these areas are of key importance to the
continued growth of the sport, according to Steve Abbott, president of the
Cayman Islands Cycling Association.
This was the fourth edition of the
series and consisted of five events held over five weekends in May.
The first event, a 5km individual
time trial, set the tone for the rest of the series, with a number of cyclists
serving notice of intent for the rest of the series.
Defending series champion Abbott
claimed the win in the men’s open division, with Michele Smith finishing second
and Michael Stomps in third.
In the ladies division Toni
Pinkerton finished with the fastest time, followed by Pam Travers and Sarah
Defending junior champion Toby
Sutton claimed a very narrow victory over newcomer Michael Testori, with Julian
Johnson finishing in third.
The masters’ division delivered a
slight upset as defending series champion Chris Sutton was relegated to second
place by Laurent Weber, with John Broad finishing in third.
In the second event of the series,
a 45-mile mass start road race, saw Jasper Mikkelsen break away for a solo
victory, followed by Abbott and Dennis Brooks. The result left Abbott as the
series leader, but elevated Mikkelsen to second place, with Smith dropping to
In the ladies’ division, Travers
asserted her dominance, claiming the win over Caroline Cahill and Pinkerton.
This elevated Travers into the lead, with Pinkerton dropping to second and
Cahill climbing to third.
In the masters’ division, Chris
Sutton took the win over Laurent Weber and Douglas Elliott. The win moved
Sutton into first place over Weber, with Elliott moving into third.
The juniors had another tough
battle, with Toby Sutton claiming the win over Testori, followed by Alex
McCallum. However, Testori contested the intermediate sprints ferociously,
which meant that Sutton did not gain too much of a points advantage. The result
left Sutton at the top of the table, followed by Testori, with McCallum moving
into third. The third event of the series featured a circuit race, with
participants fighting hard for the valuable points on offer.
In the men’s open division, Smith
launched a concerted effort to move into the series lead as he claimed every
intermediate sprint as well as the final win over Abbott and Mikkelsen.
However, it was not enough to gain the series lead as he remained one point
short of Abbott in first, with Mikkelsen remaining in third.
In the ladies’ event Travers
dominated, although she faced a stiff challenge from Marlene West who finished
in second and Cahill in third. The result allowed Travers to extend her lead in
the series, with Cahill moving into second over Pinkerton.
Chris Sutton dominated the masters’
division, with Weber in second once again, and Elliott in third. The result
left the series positions unchanged, although Sutton extended his lead over
The fourth event featured a 60-mile
mass start road race, which challenged participants with a route starting from
Grand Harbour and taking cyclists on two loops of the Eastern end of the Island
before returning to Grand Harbour. Abbott was aggressive throughout the race
and was rewarded with first place, followed by Mikkelsen with Smith in third.
This allowed Abbott to stretch his lead at the top of the table, while the
order remained the same.
In the ladies’ division, Travers
took yet another win, while Pinkerton claimed second over Cahill. Travers’ win
was enough to give her the series title with one race to go, while a mere point
now separated Cahill in second and Pinkerton in third.
In the masters’ division Chris
Sutton claimed his third win of the series over Weber in second place.
The final race was a 19-mile time
trial, starting and finish at the Reef Resort in East End. It was run as part
of the popular Reefathlon series of events. With Abbott unable to compete,
Smith needed to finish in fourth place or higher in order to claim the series.
However, local course record holder Ameline was on his way back from injury and
looking to test his legs, while Mikkelsen was on the hunt for the course
record. Johan Heath surprised by claiming third, with Mikkelsen finishing
second, but it was Smith who sealed the series title the best way he knew how,
winning the race and setting a new course record in the process.
In the ladies’ race, Pinkerton took
the win over Justine Plenkiewicz and Helen Wauchope. The win elevated Pinkerton
to second in the series, relegating Cahill to third.
Although Weber claimed the win
among the masters, Chris Sutton managed to hang on to the series title, with
Elliott taking third in the series.
A mere point separated junior
division leader Testori from Toby Sutton at the start of the final race, but
Testori managed to win the event, and with it the series, with Sutton second
and Alex McCallum taking third in the series.
Series sponsor Karim Awe of Cayman
Insurance Centre handed the series champions their trophies, which was followed
by a prize draw for all cyclists who had taken part in the series. Prizes were
donated by Cayman Helicopters, Ristorante Pappagallo, the Lighthouse Restaurant
and Pure Health.