The Dew Cycling Classics staged its fourth race of the month with 49 riders competing on Sunday morning.
The six-lap road race circuit course was held for the first time on the new extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, starting across from Cayman Water Company.
Early in the race most of the riders were together when Ben Creasey decided to make a dash, hoping to claw back some deficit on his overall points standings.
On lap one, Creasey’s lead had grown to 38 seconds, with the main pack still tightly together.
By lap two, his lead had grown to 54 seconds and on the third lap, he was still in the lead with 85 seconds on the chasing group.
By then, Steve Abbott decided to make a dash too as he approached the Yacht Club roundabout, but he was followed quickly by Pedro Lopez Ramos.
On the new straight-out road toward the Willie Farrington roundabout, Michele “Mitch” Smith decided to join Abbott and Ramos. Surprisingly, the speedy Jerome Ameline didn’t move with Smith.
On the fourth lap, Creasey was still out front, but now with only a 22-second lead as the trio closed the gap, and he was eventually caught.
Way back in the pack there was a crush going into lap four, involving women’s cyclist Margot Lars, open riders Daniel Cummings, Brent Cunha and a few others.
At some point, Ameline decided to make a move on his own to reel in Abbott, Ramos, Creasey and Smith, but it was too late for the time trial specialist.
Coming into the final sprint, it was Abbott leading Smith and Ramos around the final roundabout by Lime Tree Bay as they headed to the finish.
Smith bolted from behind Abbott’s slipstream to take his first Dew Cycling Classics win, with Abbott in second and Ramos third in the men’s open elite category.
Smith’s time was 1 hour 2 minutes 12.13 seconds; Abbott was 1.31 seconds behind.
The masters then came blistering home, with Richard Pascal and David Cooke trying to out-race the women’s fastest, Rachel Gooden.
Pascal is a past two-time Olympian and CARIFTA medalist. He wanted his tire in front after losing to Gooden in last week’s road race, when she just beat the firefighter in another sprint finish.
This time Pascal triumphed, in 1:14:57.04. He kept his lead in the last 50 meters and just edged out Gooden.
Josh Weaver and Antoine McLaughlin were the only two juniors. They competed over two laps of the 4.8-mile course set by the Cayman Islands Cycling Association, with Weaver winning.
The next Dew Cycling Classics event is Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. in downtown George Town. Roads will be closed at 2:30 p.m. to accommodate the three races.
For more information, contact CICA at [email protected] or go to www.caymancycling.com.