Abbott makes records a habit

Records tumbled at the Cayman Islands Cycling Association’s recent national 10 mile time trial championships. Two out of the four categories contested saw new records being established, while more than half the field set new personal best times for the course. 

The conditions on race day were a stark contrast to the previous running of a race on the course, when during the Cayman Classic series torrential downpours greeted the competitors. This time around, a clear day with very little wind seemed perfectly suited to great performances and the participants were more than happy to oblige.  

In the open division, Steve Abbott set yet another course record, something he has been making a bit of a habit of lately. His time of 20:44, two seconds faster than the previous course record, was exactly a minute up on second place finisher Michele Smith, who set a personal best for the route. Former course record holder Jerome Ameline, who was still suffering the effects of an illness that had severely limited his training, was third on 22:42, but had to suffer the ignominy of being caught and passed by Abbott. However, this is likely to motivate the defending Cayman Classic champion to even greater performances next year. 

Abbot was surprised by his performance, as he was not able to put quite the same amount of preparation into the event as he had on previous occasions. 

“When I could see Jerome (who started a minute in front) after a third of the way it was good encouragement that I was riding fast, but not too hard. When I caught him after two thirds of the race I wanted the race to end there and then!” he laughed. 

In the ladies division, Rebecca Vandiver a first time competitor in the 10 mile time trial, claimed an upset win over Cayman Classic champion Risa Golberg. Vandiver’s time of 26:25 was just seven seconds faster than Golberg, with Fiona Brander third in 28:13. 

Although the spectators and other competitors might have been surprised by Vandiver’s win, none were more surprised than the winner herself. 

“Well I certainly wasn’t expecting to win so getting this first win was very encouraging for me as a relative newcomer to the racing scene. I had checked the conditions and knew I wouldn’t have a headwind so I really punched it down the small hills at Antoinette and by the cemetery. I definitely have a lot to learn and fortunately there are so many great cyclists to study and learn from here on Cayman,” she said. 

In the masters division, Laurent Weber finished in first with a new masters’ record of 22:45, good enough to give him fourth place overall on the day. Chris Sutton was in second place on 23:52, followed by Vico Testori in third on 24:19. 

In the junior division Andy Diaz continued his recent dominance, taking the win in 24:16, with Derron Kelly taking second place in 25:51. 

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