Briton John leads We Stand United’s dominance of Cheddi Jagan Memorial Cycling
Briton John of We Stand United staved off several attacks on Sunday to win the 23rd Cheddi Jagan Memorial Cycle Road Race in Berbice.
John ultimately dropped the peloton, fighting his way back solo from a break established early on by teammates Jamual John and junior standout Alexander Leung.
The race pedalled off from Freedom House on Main Street, New Amsterdam, proceeded to the Corriverton Arch, and returned to Port Mourant for the finish. The Females and Veterans Over-50 finished at Port Mourant on the upward journey.
Clocking a time of three hours, three minutes and thirty-five seconds (3:03:35s) in scorching heat and challenging wind conditions, John credited his win to teamwork and a strategy.
“My teammates, we planned to try to split the field from early. As soon as the race started, Alex and (Jamual) John went out and established like a four-minute break,” Briton said.
“The rest of the guys from KFC (Evolution) was attacking me, trying to go over, so I just kept picking up everything. I saw an opportunity like 40 miles to go and I went straight across to my teammates and from there we established a break. “
The teamwork paid off as We Stand United rounded out the podium with Jamual John and Leung in second and third place respectively.
“As a 15-year-old coming up, it feels really good to place in the senior race,” Leung said.
By virtue of his finish, Leung emerged as the top Junior rider on the day.
In the Veterans race, Alex Mendes (Kaieteur Attack) placed first in the Under-50 category and Ian Jackson (Flying Stars) first in the Over-50.
Jaikarran Sookhai, who formed part of the initial trio break on the Number 19 Public Road, placed second in the Under-50 category after a spirited effort but was dropped on the return to Port Mourant when Briton John joined the break.
Suriah Duncan, who represented District Six as a first-timer at Nationals in 2022, finished her first road race as the lone rider for the Open/Senior Women Category.
The only juvenile to finish the race was young ‘Siddwell’ who was given a special prize.
The race was being held in memory of founder of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, and coincided with a memorial ceremony at Babu Jaan, Port Mourant.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, in brief remarks at the prize giving ceremony, said: “This is a historic race because annually since the death of Comrade Cheddi, this race is normally run by Comrade Neil Kumar and I want to thank him and his team for carrying on this race.”
“This year marks the 26th Anniversary since the death of Comrade Cheddi Jagan- ‘Father of Our Nation’ and I told the cyclists this morning (at the start line), no matter win or lose, all of you are winners because you take part in a race that represents a person who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
SUMMARISED RESULTS (23rd Cheddi Jagan Memorial Cycle Road Race)
Men’s Open/Senior Category
1 Briton John (We Stand United)
2 Jamaul John (We Stand United)
3 Alexander Leung (We Stand United)
4 Romello Crawford
5 Curtis Dey (Evolution)
6 Alex Mendes (Kaieteur Attack)
Men’s Junior Category
1 Alexander Leung (We Stand United)
2 Aaron Newton (We Stand United)
3 Sebastian Nathan (Kaieteur Attack)
Men’s Veterans Under-50 Category
1 Alex Mendes (Kaieteur Attack)
2 Jaikarran Sookhai
3 Kwame Ridley (Kaieteur Attack)
4 Segun Hubbard (Evolution)
Men’s Veterans Over-50 Category
1 Ian Jackson (Flying Stars)
2 Cranston Dey
3 Talim Shaw (Flying Stars)
Women’s Open/Senior Race Category
1 Suriah Duncan
Men’s Youth: Juvenile Race Category