Hot and windy weather created perfect conditions for the Gladfelter Classic road race Sunday on the North Shore of St. Croix, as 35 cyclists took on the elements and the undulating terrain.
In the Sport Category, the trio of Apolinar Acevedo of Team Twin City; Joseph Thomas, Team Joint Forces; and Tyler Jowaisis, Cruzan Confusion left their competition behind. Acevedo and Jowaisis took off on a break in the second lap and never looked back, leaving Thomas in their wake. Acevedo edged out Jowaisis in a sprint to the finish, with Thomas rounding out the third spot in the 23-mile race.
The Expert Category saw another trio working together to keep the chase group at bay. Donald Christian, Team High Definition; Brad Chaffee, Team Miko2Max; and Troy Holloway, Independent, maintained a fair gap between them and the rest of the pack from the start in the 34.5-mile race. The trio worked together until the finish was in sight, then with a massive sprint to the line, Christian snatched the win away from Chaffee. Holloway, who had bike troubles, rounded out the third spot.
The Elite Category started with a blistering pace, and stayed in a compact group for two laps. By the third lap only the worthy or lucky were left. By the time the dust settled, six out of the thirteen Elite combatants were unaccounted for either by flat tires or simply tapping out due to the high pace in the 46-mile race. Apolinar Acevedo, Team Twin City, jettisoned his compatriots Mark Defour, Team High Definition; Morgan Locke, Cruzan Confusion; and Jonathan Cruz, Team Twin City, with a well-timed attack on the run up to the final set of hills. Acevedo rode in alone across the line, followed by Mark Defour in second and Jonathan Cruz in third.
The Masters Category was won by Peter Duthie of Team Miko2Max and the Women’s Category was won by Melissa Banuelos of STX-340.
The Gladfelter Classic was hosted by Team STX340. Each of the five cycling clubs of the The Virgin Islands Cycling Federation hosts three of the races each year.
Bill Gladfelter was a respected marine biologist and mariner who was also known as one of the best cyclists in the Virgin Islands. In 2003 at the age of 60 he died of melanoma in 2003, just six months after competing in St. Croix’s half-ironman triathlon.