Ameline set for hat-trick

Jerome Ameline looks likely to be the May Classics Series champion for a third year in succession after winning the 58-mile Road Race in East End over the weekend.  

The race started and finished with three loops from Frank Sound and around the Queen’s Highway on Sunday.  

Ameline won in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 36.10 seconds, ahead of Michele “Mitch” Smith (2:21:22.42) and third placed Steve Abbott (2:21:27.89).  

Then came Patrick Loughnane and Pedro Lopez Ramos.  

David Cooke (2:27:25.25) was the fastest master, sixth overall. 

Risa Golberg (2:33:56.83) was the speediest woman, marginally ahead of the second fastest female Carien Roberts-Harcombe (2:33:58.41). 

Ever present Josh Weaver won the junior race again.  

After the first two events, Ameline was only 11 seconds overall ahead of Smith in the open class but he extended that lead to 1 minute, 52.82 seconds with this victory.  

The final race is this Sunday May 25, the Heroes Square Criterium of one hour plus three laps, starting at 5 p.m.  

This race is usually held early on the final day but because it would have clashed with the Deputy Governor Franz Manderson’s 5k run to help the Derek Haines Cayman HospiceCare $1 million Challenge, it was rescheduled.  

“I smashed everybody like I told them I would,” said the triumphant Ameline. “I wanted a big lead for this final race and that’s what I got.  

“Unless there is a big mechanical incident or a crash, I am confident I can win for a third year in succession.” 

Since the May Classics were introduced, the 39-year-old Frenchman has finished in the top two every time, except in 2010 when injury from a crash prevented him from completing the series.  

Dave Walker won it in 2007, then Gary Clarke the following year, Abbott in 2009 and 2011, and Smith in 2010.  

“It is not a foregone conclusion, of course, but as long as I make the race and pass the finish line, I am confident I will win,” Ameline said.  

He added that at 39 he feels he is getting stronger, proven by his time trial victory three weeks ago which was his fastest ever over a course he felt was deliberately shortened to give his rivals an advantage.  

He added, “Hopefully, it will be like the Tour de France when the rider in the yellow jersey on the final day is usually so far ahead that there is no pressure and the race is not tight.”  


Jerome Ameline is getting faster at 39. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD

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