86.8 F
Cruz Bay
Saturday, December 9, 2023


Flat tires, a come-from-behind victory and a crash into a kasha bush made for an action-packed V.I. Cycling Federation race Saturday on St. Croix’s rugged north shore.
A group of 16 riders took on the challenge of the grueling-yet beautiful North Shore Race, the Federation’s second competitive road event of the season. "A" group riders did three laps from Salt River Marina to the Carambola Resort for a total of 36 miles. Jamie Keys, the reigning V.I. national champion, led for more than half of the first lap when he suffered a flat tire near Picnics in Paradise.
With Keys out of the picture, Jamie Bate and Jose Prado took turns leading the lead group of riders. About a mile into the second lap on the twisting North Shore Road, Bate made a break away. The move fizzled, though, when he entered a tight, right-hand turn too fast and couldn’t negotiate the curve, ending up slightly injured in a thorn-ridden kasha bush.
The crash enabled Prado, Angel Encarnacion; Tom Guthrie, in his first event since a serious accident between a car and his bike; and Sue Brown to take over the race.
Meanwhile, Keys, working on his own without the benefit of being able to draft other riders, was steadily making up lost ground.
On the final lap near Rust Op Twist, Keys managed to pass the lead group, coming across the line in 1:41:28. He was followed by Prado at 1:45:41, Guthrie at 1:47:36 and Encarnacion at 1:51:13.
Brown, the lone female in the field, finished the 24-mile, two lap B-group challenge in 1:08:41.
That was some 12 minutes ahead of Luke DeFour, who finished in 1:20:15.
The B group also had its share of excitement with a hard sprint to the finish between father and son Will and Nick Franks. While the elder Franks, Will, edged out Nick by a second at 1:25:48, he was in a dead heat with Juancito Gario.
The next event is the Endurance Sports East End Triathlon and Try a Tri at the Divi Carina Bay Resort on March 3.
A Group
1. Jamie Keys 1:41:28
2. Jose Prado 1:45:41
3.Tom Guthrie 1:47:36
4. Angel Encarnacion 1:51:13
5. Jamie Bate DNF
6. John Harper DNF
B Group
1. Sue Brown 1:08:41
2. Luke DeFour 1:20:15
3. Eric Hutchins 1:21:29
4. Juancito Gario 1:25:48
5. Will Franks 1:25:48
6. Nick Franks 1:25:49
7. Bret Dalphinus 1:37:40
8. Danny Fontello 1:41:20
Will Clowes and Victor Cruz each completed one lap at 39:45 and 41:20 respectively.

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