Curacao and St Maarten share Extreme Duo honors

POSTED: 10/1/12 12:02 PM

St. Maarten – After a not so technical start in the first St Maarten Extreme Duo 60 kilometer mountain bike race in Sint Martin/St Maarten, team ‘Oud en Nieuw’ Sebastiaan Ton and Maarten Piek were the first male team to compete in the event and in the mixed team category, our own ‘Crash Test Dummies’ Sandra and Ronan Garnier took top honors.

Sebastiaan and Piek, were able to defy all odds and crossed under the arch at the start/ending point on the premises of Port De Plaisance with a time of 3.41.36. They were followed by the ‘Duo Xtreme Bonaire’ team, DJ Methorst and Frank Bohn in 3.53.22 followed by ‘Emmalisa’ Bruno Therond and G Quetat, from St Maarten in 3.59.32.

Occupying the number two spot in the mixed team was ‘Carolientje Kpt Snorrebaard’ Tim Damhuis and Diane Ober-Steenv with a time of 4.39.23 from Curacao and in third was ‘Trisport Team America’ Annette Novak and Chris Kriebel with a time of 4.44.44.

For most of the 21 teams that participated in the race, it was their first on St Maarten, but some of them had competed in similar events before. However, after an early breakfast and the 6.30 start, the rugged out backs offered the riders a different kind of view of the sunny island, but for some, those challenges came with a price. Those who had small video cameras fitted to their helmets and cross bars, it was an adventure to remember.

The race took an early toll when Frits Bus was forced to quit after his team mate Joost Huele from team ‘Last Minute Flight’ encountered technical difficulties. After a final briefing at the line and the signal was given, the teams which included husband and wives, friends and father and son proceeded towards Forum in St James for a warm up.

Fifteen minutes after, the tempo and momentum took a twist when the group which was fragmented at that stage reached the start of the Bellevue Trail which had a lybrinth of slopes, bridges, ditches and steep climbs. Ironically, it was one of the members of the winning male team that took an early lead in the trail where overtaking was only possible in some areas.

The first three teams to exit the Bellevue trail was #2, ‘Die Angstgegner, Herman and Ralph Van Dijk from St Maarten, ‘#3 Ton and Piek and #4 ‘Mammoet Candy, Rob Westerik and Caspar Rademakers, the race was on, the next set of un forgiven ascents awaited them in Cay Bay.

This time, it was team ‘Oud en Nieuw’ that extended themselves from the pack as they ascended the final climb from Indigo Bay to the round- a- bout near GEBE tank. Approximately one minute behind was team #2 followed closely team #3.

At that stage of the race, the seasoned campaigners had already stomped their authority and after negotiating some natural and manmade trails in the hills above Link 2. The race leaders team, #2 hit the road once again after completing the trek at the top of the hill overlooking Great Bay.

It was almost a casual ride for the participants as they rode down Front Street but that did not compare to the ascent up the hill to Guana Bay, via Dawn Beach, via Oyster Pond and over to the French side of the island crossing over the rocky terrain at Baie Lucas.

Team #2 who did not avoided stopping at the first two water points maintained a comfortable lead but stopped at the third point on Orient Beach. But that stop marked the beginning of the end for team #2 because one of the riders was feeling the effects of a cramp that had been plaguing him for hours.

It was somewhere during that stage of the race that the eventual winners took over the lead and were never challenged for the rest of the race. Not even after a shower of rain which only made the place cooler for the over heated participants.

The final tour of the Bellevue trail before the conclusion of the race did pose some slippery challenges which could not be avoided under the circumstances. The final team concluded the race in a time of 5.16.01 and as far as they were concerned, it was mission accomplished. The event could only be described as  a huge success and a plus for sports tourism on the island and a view of things to come.

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