By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
Anthony ‘Biggie’ Colebrooke, one of the top junior cyclists, survived the thunder and lightning and a crash to win the men’s open title for the second time in the New Providence Cycling Association’s National Road Race Cycling Championships Sunday morning.
Colebrooke, who regained the title he first held in 2009, took three hours, 34 minutes and eight seconds to out-sprint a field of five competitors in a race to the finish line at the end of the gruelling 72-minute race. Defending champion Tracy Sweeting trailed in second, followed by Spencer Deleveaux, Kim Thompson from Grand Bahama and Jay Major, all a second behind each other.
“It was great. In the rain, it was hard, but we just kept attacking,” said Colebrooke after his victory. “On the second lap, I had a break away and I stayed there for a lap and-a-half. But I caught a cramp. Then I rode with the pack and on the third lap, I fell down after I crashed. I got up and rode back into the pack.
“On the fifth lap, Tracy got a break away, but when he slowed down, I managed to catch him and we went into a sprint to the finish line and that was where I won it.”
Colebrooke, a 16-year-old preparing for the 12th grade at CC Sweeting High School, said after all he had to endure during the race, he never envisioned winning the title.
“My coaches were pushing me telling me to go and that was how I did it,” said Colebrooke.
In the category II, which rode the same distance, Justin Minnis beat out Roy Colebrooke Jr and Wayne Price Jr, while Michael Holowesko won the category III ahead of Rob Rothwell and Jackson Russell. Richard Horton, Thomas Mackey and Anthony Roberts were the top three finishers in category four and Kenton Roker took category five over Larry Russell.
The overall female winner was Linda Holowesko in 1:17.41 in a shorter race and she also took first place in the Masters Over-50 followed by Sylvia Russell and Avis Munroe.
The Open female division was won by Anna Zywiolek in 1:17.45 and Shantell Levarity got second. In the Open 40-and-under, Amanda Graham crossed the line in 1:21.43 for her victory over Caroline Moncur.
In the junior division, Peetron Lightbourne clocked 1:11.08 to win the Under-17 boys title with Peter Graham second in 1:11.09 and Mychal Seymour third in 1:19.12.
Antinence Simmons, the lone competitor in the under-17 girls division, did 1:11.32, while the Under-14 boys was won by Antonio Roberts ahead of Felix Neely.
There were some 30 plus competitors in the race that was sponsored by Cycles Unlimited.
NPCA president Barron ‘Turbo’ Musgrove said they had a good representation from throughout the Bahamas and the US. He noted that he was even more impressed with the number of female competitors.
“The race started out with great weather, but during the last hour and-a-half, we were literally racing in thunder and lighning,” he said. “The chief official (Shirley Mireault) at one time was going to stop the race, but she allowed it to continue. The competitors all wanted to continue too.”
Musgrove said he was especially pleased to see the young cyclists like Colebrooke and Major challenging the senior cyclists.
“The race...it was wet, it was thundering and lightning. We had several crashes,” Musgrove said. “But the cyclists all came together and there was a six-man sprint to end the race.”
The next race on the calendar will be the Youth Championships July 21-22 at the National Cycling Track at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex. Musgrove said they are inviting the youth cyclists from throughout the island to come out and participate.
That will be followed by the National Time Trials slated for July 28-29. The individual races will go first on July 28 and the team trials will be staged on July 29.