Eastmond victorious in Track Series main eventby Sean Taylor
Wednesday, March 21 2018
In the end, it came down to a mad dash on the final straight, but Jamol Eastmond was able to hold off his challengers to win the main event of TTCF Track Series yesterday at the Arima Velodrome.
The Barbadian rider left it to the final 150 metres of the Elite 1&2 20-lap race, where he found another gear to overtake Jabari Whiteman and hold off the youngster’s challenge in the sprint to the finish. Following in their wake was PSL Cycling Club’s Akeil Campbell in third, and Adam Alexander who finished fourth.
The race which closed off the first leg of the series, featured some of the bigger names in local long-distance cycling, including not only Eastmond and Whiteman, but also Campbell, Alexander and Kemp Orosco and Tyler Cole and Alexi Costa. The race also included riders from the Elite 2 division, which allowed some of the less experienced riders to taste top-level competition.
On the track a large gap was established early on, as Cole and Eastmond made the early pace. The duo was not alone for long at the front, as Campbell and Orosco made their moves to catch the leading peloton. Soon however, more riders followed in hot pursuit as Alexander and Whiteman made their move making it clear to on looking fans that the main event was going to the wire.
The entire group stayed together making the pace until the last two laps which meant that the race would come down to a final-lap dogfight - and the riders did not disappoint.
Whiteman made his break on the back straight, but he was unable to shake off Eastmond, who overtook him with 250 metres to go. Whiteman tried to reel in the marginal advantage, but didn’t have the legs to beat his more experienced counterpart on the line.
Earlier in the day Keiana Lester made her comeback after a near-fatal vehicular accident in early December 2016, kept her out for 16 months. Lester spent most of 2017 recovering and was finally ready for competitive action yesterday.
However, she was unable to feature on the podium on the day. She finished fourth in the Elite Women’s four-lap race, where Cheyenne Awai held off Costa’s challenge to cross the line in first, while Christiane Farah finished third. Farah however went on to win the Elite Women’s three-lap pointer later in the afternoon.
In the Elite Men’s version of the four-lap race, Campbell’s experience made the difference in the end, as he snatched the lead on the back straight of the final lap, blowing away his opposition in the process. The PSL rider was followed by Whiteman, and then Alexander. Tyler Cole finished fourth.
In the Masters 60-69 division, PSL’s Cyril Fook took the three-lap race, while Roger Malco won the four-lapper in the 40-49 division. The next leg of the series is tentatively set to pedal off at the National Track Cycling Velodrome in Balmain Couva, a fortnight from now.