Windy Sunday morning made a tricky bike course even tougher at the Virgin Islands Cycling Federation’s Lime Tree Bay Circuit race, a race the VICF hasn’t run since 2017.
The Elite cyclists set a fast pace for their 10-lap race, clocking in at 7:19 on the first lap (each lap is 2.6 miles and goes from the crosswalk at Gate 4 to the top of the hill at Estate Blessing and return). The group settled into a steady pace in round three. Several elite cyclists mentioned that Stephen Swanton propelled the Blessing Hill at high speed every lap, so the group had to make the choice of digging deep to keep up with him or falling to the back. Only Alex Betancourt could match Swanton’s strength but then lost his grip on lap 8. Swanton finished the 26-mile race in 1:17:03, with Betancourt more than a minute behind in 1:18:21. Glenn “Hula” Massiah was third in 1:20:01.
Several spectators were predicting the outcome of the Expert race just after they left for their 21-mile race. The 8-lap race went as many had expected: Robin Seila dropped the rest of the field on lap 5 and rode through the wind and rain alone along Hope Road. She recorded impressively consistent laps, with lap 5 being her fastest. Seila crossed the finish line in 1:07:48, with runner-up Ted Prosper more than three minutes behind. Miguel Cruz edged out Jerry Remie for third place.
The small sports field was run by Mario Butcher, a member of the Christiansted Mango Tree Riders. He gave up some time to second-placed Joseph Thomas on laps 5 and 6 as he fatigued more in the 15.6-mile race. Butcher maintained his position until the finish line, with a time of 54:34. Thoms finished in 54:48 and Clive Parris was third in 59:41.
After more than a year of racing, Angel Ventura reminded us of his strength as a Masters rider. He was the lead driver throughout the 13-mile race. Ventura finished the 5-lap race in 45:41; Brian Otis was second in 48:25, while Renwick Lynch was third.
Jody Goodrich was the only female cyclist in her 4 lap race. She completed the 10.4-mile course in 43:34.
The VI Cycling Federation will hold another circuit race at 7 a.m. next Sunday, July 3, in Frederiksted. The distances for the Emancipation Pride Road Race are 13.5 miles, 27 miles and 45 miles.
For more information, call 643-6420.