BMC cyclist rides off with Tour of The Bahamas title!
If one was to ask Andy Mapple his reason for returning to the country, he would simply say, “to win the Tour of The Bahamas.”
After a seventh overall placing, in the Masters 40-50 division last year, Mapple was determined to come back and capture the division’s title. He knew he would have his hands full, in the stacked field of competitors, so his strategy was to head into Day Two of the 9th Annual Tour of The Bahamas with a comfortable lead, which meant winning the Time Trial and the Mile Circuit Race, both held on Saturday. Mapple’s goal was then to be in the “thick of the race” on Sunday, to ride off to victory.
In yesterday’s road race, which was 57 miles, Bahamian resident Lee Farmer crossed the finish line first but Mapple’s time of two hours, 25 minutes and 27 seconds (2:25:27) was good enough to give him the overall title. Mapple, who represented Florida Velo, finished with a combined time of 3:40.22. Darren Fuller of BMC Hincapie Cycling was second overall, in 3:40.40, and Larry Stickler from Kentucky Flyers Cycling, finished third overall, in 3:40.57.
In the Pros 1-2 category, Ty Magner, from BMC Racing, finished first overall, in 4:32.52, Joshua Frick from DC Velo Ltd. was second overall, in 4:32.56, and Frank Travieso from Team Cocos finished third overall, in 4:33.00.
In category 3, the same category in which 16-year old Bahamian youngster Jay Major participated in, Roslan Rivera, unattached, was the overall winner, in 4:33.26. Adam Perez, who also competed unattached, was second, in 4:33.27, and Foren Jensen from Century Road Club finished third overall, in 4:33.37. As for Bahamian Olympic hopeful Major, he finished third in the 42-mile circuit road race on Saturday with an average speed of 28.4 kilometers per hour.
In category 4-5, Jamaican Leighton Anderson was the overall winner, in 4:03.56, fellow Jamaican Oshane Williams, just 18-years-old, was second overall, in 4:03.59, and Louis LeClerc from North Georgia Cycling finished third overall, in 4:04.05. In the Masters 50-plus division, Mark Stein from Florida Velo was the overall winner, in 3:41.44, Paul Curley from Mid State Cycling Club finished second overall, in 3:41.58, and Martin Bates, who competed unattached, was third overall, in 3:44.37.
No overall results were available for the juniors and women up to press time, but it was understood that Bahamian Anthony ‘Biggie’ Colebrooke performed exceptionally well in the Juniors 15-17 category.
“This year there were a lot of teams and a lot of strategic planning going on,” said masters 40-50 overall winner Mapple.
“One of the teams, the BMC or the Texas Road House, threw a curve ball on the first lap sending two guys up the road. They were able to get away for a minute and a half at one stage, which made my team and myself dig even deeper so we could be in contention, back within 17 seconds.
“Today, I think was one of the hardest races that I have ever done, and my teammates without those guys there was no way that I would be able to come back and hold on to the lead that we had going on today. I am thankful to them. Overall, the entire event was fun. I love coming here. I came here last year and enjoyed it.
“I am relatively new to racing, this is my third season. Last time I came here I think I came in seventh so my overall goal when I left last year was to try and come back and win it this year. I feel great knowing that I did.”
Devising a strategy plan of their own was Team Cocos of Miami, Florida. The four-member team that competed in the Pros 1-2 division, relied on sprinter Yosmani Pol Rodriguez to carry the load for the team. He did not disappoint them. In the 76-mile course, held yesterday morning, Rodriguez clocked 2:53:50. Frank Travieso and Kyle Wamsley were second and third respectively. Winning the category 3 division 76-mile course was Rivera, in 2:53:52.
Rodriguez said, “The team had a strategy for the race, we targeted the classification and we tried to get in front of Frank Travieso and break away.
“We didn’t succeed on the break away so we took the second choice during the race and that was to win one more stage. Since I am a sprinter I took charge and managed to do so. I really appreciate the effort by my team yesterday and today during the races. I was feeling comfortable knowing that they were there. We tried to be in the general classification as a team in the top three and of course try to win as many stations as we could. We made it to first place, not in the Time Trials, but in the two other stages we were successful and I am happy about it.
“It is pleasing and beautiful weather in The Bahamas. It wasn’t too hot and I am thankful that it didn’t rain. It wasn’t cold and not windy so it is a fantastic weekend to host a race and ride in the tour.”
While Rodriguez loved the weather Oshane Williams, winner of the men’s 4-5 category road race on Sunday, didn’t. The Jamaican national said it was too hot, and as a result persons in the field had a hard time staying hydrated throughout the 57-mile course that was mapped out for that division. Williams who decided to stay behind teammate Leighton Anderson for most of the race, turned things up just seconds away from the finish line to nip Anderson for the win. His time was 2:40:40, a mere one, one hundredth of a second ahead of Anderson. Third place went to Thomas Seier and Christopher Cavallaro was fourth. Anderson was the overall winner in that category, while Williams settled for second.
Kathleen Billington was the first female in the Women’s 1-3 category. She completed the course in 2:40:41. Her time was better than some of the male cyclists who set out to ride the 57-mile course. Coming in second, behind Billington, was Alicia Kaye. Marilyn Cullinane and Amy Phillips were third and fourth respectively.
Competitors in the Women’s 4, masters 40 and 50-plus had to complete 57 miles as well. The top finisher for the women was Catherine Davis, 2:40:43. James Nottage had a final course time of 2:41:12.