BVI biker Christopher wins in Love City
Published: June 19, 2012
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Darel Christopher Jr. has made the trip from the British Virgin Islands to Love City for several years now, competing in the St. John Festival Bike Race since he was very young.
He's all grown up now and collected another win on Sunday.
Christopher Jr. won the 14-mile bike race in 1 hour and 2 minutes, the top finisher among the 15 cyclists who absorbed hot conditions and about 2,700 feet of climbing.
The race is one of the first events of the St. John Festival.
Riders came from as far as Nevis to race the "Classic Course," which was designed by the late Yolander Potter, who was a long-time race director.
"She passed away several years ago and this race is in her honor," said Jude Woodcock, who finished third among the women.
The course started at Cruz Bay, followed Centerline Road to Coral Bay where the turnaround took riders back up the hill and then along the North Shore via a steep descent down Kings Hill. After cycling past Maho Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay, the course ended at Hawksnest Bay.
"Conditions were perfect for this race," Woodcock said. "The last two years, we've had some rain and had to change the course, but Sunday was great. It was very hot, but it's that time of year."
Right from the start, Christopher Jr., Reggie Douglas and James Weekes - both from Nevis - formed the lead group as St. John's Margaret Majatte and the BVI's Sally Blackmore gave chase. The rest of the cyclists spread out over the course in the early stages.
Before the turnaround, Douglas opened up a gap, but Christopher Jr. and Weekes reeled him in. There was a sprint finish in the end as all three crossed the line within a tenth of a second between them.
Christopher Jr. took the title while Douglas finished second, followed by Weekes.
Blackmore was first women's rider and finished in 1:19, which was good enough for sixth overall. In her race debut, Majatte was second, and she was followed closely by Woodcock.
"It was Margaret's first time at this race, and she fixed up her bike just in time," Woodcock said. "It was pretty cool that the BVI got the top men's and women's spots. We told Sally after the race that we'd be coming for her next year."
Glen Millar took fourth overall, followed by Majatte's husband, Pretlow.
Each race finisher received a participation medal as the top three men and women received trophies and equal prize money, which was sponsored by the St. John Festival Committee. Adam and Jane Thill were the race directors for this year's event.
Love City Triathlon is back
After a one-year hiatus, Jude Woodcock announced that the Love City Triathlon will be held the first weekend in September on St. John.
"We skipped the 13th year because of bad luck," Woodcock said, jokingly. "It's back now, and we're excited to get going on this."
A group of race directors met on St. John on Monday night to confirm the plans. Woodcock said an aquathon - a swim-run event - will also be held during the triathlon for athletes who do not have a bike and still want to compete.
More details will be announced at a later date, including plans for a new triathlon course. For more information, call Woodcock at 779-1416.
- Contact sports writer Aaron Gray at 714-9102 or email email@example.com.Americas in July, which would bring each squad a step closer to an Olympic qualification.
Mexico converted seven of eight free-throw attempts in the final 29 seconds to hold on for the win. Gustavo Ayon paced the Mexicans with 22 points and 15 rebounds while Paul Michael Stoll added a game-high 23 points.
USVI coach Milton Barnes was not available for comment.
Jason Edwin registered a double-double for the USVI with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Ivan Aska III, one of the heroes from last summer's competition, added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Hodge, Edwin and Aska III were members of a USVI squad that put together a 5-0 record and won the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships in the Bahamas last July. It was the team's first CBC crown since 2002, and it qualified the USVI for this week's tourney.
On Monday, the USVI shot only 54 percent (23-for-42) from the free-throw line, but as a testament to the team's backcourt, it won the battle on fast-break points, 22-12.
Even though the USVI has four players taller than 6-foot-10, Mexico scored 21 second-chance points, compared to only 10 from the USVI.
- Contact sports writer Aaron Gray at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.