Francisco and Lake victorious in cycling season’s openerPOSTED: 01/23/12 7:14 PM
St. Maarten – Walwin Francisco and Dave Lake won the two first cycle races of the year on Sunday. The 15 lap event, which was organized by the Soualiga Cycling Club, had 23 participants who began their circumnavigation of the Great Salt Pond at the Festival Village.
Francisco, who rides for G.C.S/W.Y.S.O, was able to complete the 39km event in 1 hour and 20 minutes. He had about two bicycle lengths between himself and his nearest rival – Cozier Eddy – who was riding for Club V8. Berchel Ilfred from the Dynamic Boys Cycling Club followed close behind the pair.
The competitiveness in race two was higher than race one even though only 13 riders entered. From the word go Lake, who represented VCG Cycling Club, rode away from the group. Steve Catalan, who was riding for MNO, took over the lead at the end of lap one but Jean Marie Poyo, another VCG rider, took the lead from him a short time later. Poyo held the lead until lap four when he was joined by Laud, riding for Stingers of Anguilla, and then by Lake in lap five. The three then made it a three man race.
Steve Catalan, who was riding for Club MNO and two independent riders – Luc Goiroshiza and Greg Pigeon – also had a three way battle to catch the leaders but they kept falling further and further behind. With eight laps to go, two and a half minutes separated the leaders from the nearest group of three and the leaders eventually lapped their competition.
Calamity struck with three laps remaining when Poyo got a flat and set the stage for a battle between his team mate Lake and Laud. He’d eventually borrow a tyre, rejoin the race and chase down the three riders who had the race leaders in site. When he caught back up with Catalan, Pigeon and Goiroshiza, the battle intensified, but the leaders had a one minute 16 second lead with one lap remaining.
In the dying moments Lake, who is a good sprinter, made his move after crossing the speed bump and crossed the line unchallenged.