Emerging cycling star Pedro Lopez Ramos had to tough it out as he won the 57-mile Road Race Championship in pain on Sunday.
It started and finished in Frank Sound with loops to East End around the Queen’s Highway.
Ramos won in 2 hours 27 minutes 16 seconds. Alan Roberts-Harcombe was second and Michele “Mitch” Smith was third. In an earlier report on this race, in Tuesday’s paper, it was stated that Smith won. That was not the case.
Marius Deysel was fourth and Jerome Ameline fractionally behind in fifth.
Wade Tamasa was among the early leaders but he dropped out. Roberts-Harcombe got dropped on the last lap near the Frank Sound Junction area after he cramped up in Gun Bay, East End. Surprisingly, he kept it all rolling to grab second place in 2:30:47. Deysel just about landed his fourth place by nipping Ameline by a mere 0.027 a second.
In the women’s race, the winner was Risa Golberg in a tight sprint finish against Carien Roberts-Harcombe, Visiting U.K. rider Tamaia McGee was in third place.
David Cooke, Laurent Weber and Vico Testori topped out the masters category. About a kilometer from the finish line, Testori crashed, jumped back on his bike and bravely finished.
Sports Minister Osborne Bodden showed up to hand the winners their trophies. Bodden also went along with cycling association President Craig Merren to follow the cyclists in the pace car to see the action from another perspective.
Defending 2013 road race champion Steve Abbott did not participate.
Ramos was thrilled with his first official victory although in his head he always wins anyway. “I’m very pleased with the outcome of the race as I’ve been training for it since my victory in the Genesis Trust Duathlon in April,” he said.
He only felt sure of winning from about one kilometer out when he looked back and everything was clear.
“The first and second laps, things were smooth working with the other two guys that were on the breakaway with me until they dropped off and then it was only me to face the strong winds on the coast side of East End and the devastating heat,” Lopez said.
“I had to dig deep and focus, ensuring that I cancelled the possibilities of the main peloton reeling me back in.”
The hardest part for Lopez was severe cramping on the last lap. He was slowed down but tried to just press through while hoping they would just stop.
“It became very painful but I refused to give up. The cycling association officials and the volunteers were very helpful as they drove along keeping a close eye on me.
“Though it never took away the pain, their presence was comforting and aided me to complete the race successfully.” Lopez does not have a specific event to focus on next, but the cycling association may organize one race every month from August to October.
Ramos added, “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me through my journey. I would like to remind and encourage everyone that with hard work and dedication anything can be achieved.”