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|Santos holds lead over field after commanding second stage win|
|Saturday, 12 May 2012 22:30|
… Travieso takes first stage
YOUNG Cveli Santos of Team Coco, rode a tactical race during the first two stages of the National Sports Commission (NSC)-sponsored 30th Independence Anniversary three-stage cycle road race yesterday, to hold a lead over his more illustrious opponents heading into this morning’s final stage. Having failed to cop the top position in yesterday’s first stage which was won by his teammate Frank Travieso in a time of 1h. 41mins 38 seconds from Ivan Dominguez also of Team Coco, Santo stop the clock at 2h.18mins 38seconds to take the second stage from the vast-improving Raynauth ‘Obeah Man’ Jeffrey of Carlton Wheelers Cycle Club.
Santos’ Team Coco teammates, defending champion Yosmani Pol and Maikel Matos, finished third and fourth respectively, 76 seconds behind, while the peloton which included the top four finishers from the first stage, finished a further 118 seconds.
After two stages, the overall standings are as follows: Santos (4.00:09), Jeffrey (4.00:12), Martinez 4.02:11), Travieso (4.02:22), Dominguez (4.02:25), Rodman (4.02:27), Greaves (4.02:29), Maikel Matos (4.02:30), Pol (4.02:32), Robin Persaud (4.02:35), Geron Williams (4.02:35), Jose Frank Rodriguez (4.02:35) and Darren Matthews (4.02:35).
Santos finished the first stage in ninth position, behind Geron Williams, Jeffrey, Robin Persaud and Darren Matthews, who saw Marlo Rodman (Heat Wave) and Alonso Greaves of Roraima Bikers Club, finish third and fourth behind the two foreign cyclists.
Santos’ spot was a far cry from where he was positioned a mere five minutes into the race which was started by Director of Sport Neil Kumar, as he and Jeffrey broke away from the peloton as they passed through Number 51 Village, Corentyne.
They were wheeled in by Greaves, Williams, Persaud, Travieso, Dominguez and Matthews, as they approached Babu John Port Mourant, after which Travieso, Dominguez, Greaves and Matthews jumped the back before they crossed the Canje Bridge.
The sprint for home in the first stage took place in front of M. Alli and Sons General Store, which was approximately 250 metres away from the line, which gave cycling enthusiasts in the Ancient County a chance to witness the sprinting power of the top two foreign cyclists.
Certainly, Travieso who had displayed his sprinting ability during the 2010 ‘Ride for Life’ five-stage event and Dominguez who is also known as ‘The Cuban Missile’ did not disappoint, with Travieso coming out on top.
As they did in the first stage, Santos and Jeffrey made a move to the front as they passed through the West Berbice, just before entering the village of Bush Lot and unlike the first stage, they worked in tandem to hold a 45-second lead over Barbados’ Jamal Eastman and Team Coco’s Leonardo Martinez.
The peloton which included Travieso, Dominguez, Matthews, Williams, Greaves, Persaud, Warren ‘40’ McKay, Junior Niles, Jude Bently, Raymond ‘Steely’ Newton, Scott Savory and Godfrey Pollydore, just to name a few, wheeled in Martinez and Eastman at Fairfield Mahaicony, while Jeffrey and Santos maintained their lead at the front.
However in the sprint for home, Santos proved to be superior to a tried-looking Jeffrey, who began to feel the strain of his hard work done in the two opening stages and settled for second, with Maikel Matos and defending champion Yosmani Pol, both of Team Coco finishing third and fourth respectively, one minute and 16 seconds after Santos and Jeffrey.
This morning’s final stage will get under way at 08:00hrs and will see the riders pedalling from Kara Kara on the Linden Highway where they will proceed to Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown covering a distance of 64.5 miles (103.3km).
Following the completion of this stage, the riders who remained would have covered a distance of approximately 171.5 miles (274.3km). The top six finishers will be rewarded along with the individual stage wins and sprint prizes during the course of the event.
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