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Sports Last Updated: May 24, 2009 - 3:37:13 PM


BACF Independence National Cycling Championships
By Sylvia Russell, BACF
Jul 15, 2008 - 7:48:40 PM

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The Bahamas Amateur Cycling Federation, along with its participants continue its trailblazing efforts, just recently coming back from the Islands of Eleuthera, Abaco and earlier this year Grand Bahama, the federation staged the Independence National Cycling Championships here on the Island of New Providence. An exciting local event in the country, where champions are crowned, names are made, talent is recognized and where all the various members, associations, clubs, and teams send their best cyclist, and this year everyone gathered to do battle.

This Mega event started off early Saturday morning with the junior championships taking the lime light. The time, 8 am, site Clifton Pier Roadway, next to Jaws Beach. These kids ranging from 10 - 14 years of age took center stage on that day. It was Jay Major, Anthony 'Biggie' Colebrook and Justin 'The Jet' Minnis that took control of the race from start to finish. Jay, clearly the better cyclist, made several attempt to break away, but was caught by Minnis and Colebrook. The end of third, beginning of forth lap of the 5 lap 30 mile race, saw Jay establish a lead, and going on to victory, once again defending his Junior Boys Championship for the fifth year. The girls race saw Antinece 'Lillie' Simmons ride to victory over Abagail Minnis, taking the name of Junior Girls National Champion. There was also a 400 meter sprint for Cadets and Pee-Wee division, where Tatyana Musgrove out sprinted Felix Colebrook. This was their first road race and did they shine! We also had a father/son team join in this race, which was open to everyone as encouragement to cycle no matter the riding level or bike.

This is evidence of the growth in the Youth Development program that the Federation, along with its partners, Musgrove Youth Cycling Program and National Youth Cycling Program because in the past there was not sufficient kids to stage the Junior Championship by its self, they always raced with the seniors. But now! we have the numbers and talent, so we look forward to our national squad coming together locally and to future international events.

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The seniors, on Sunday morning took to the streets of western New Providence, and its now history.Considered to be the" most exciting championship within the last ten years" is what cyclist and fans alike are calling this one. The 35th for the Independence National Championships was fast, exciting, competitive, thrilling and action packed from start to finish.

The race started off with a bang, with the 'Turbo' Musgrove/Major break away just into 5 miles of the 72 mile road race. They rode together for a number of miles, but the pack were determined to catch these two dangerous past champions before it was too late. This was a combined effort of the large peloton working together to bring back these two. The battle continued as Tracy Sweeting attempted several break aways but was always brought back. Kim Thompson and Mark Holowesko made a break, unfortunately Mark got a flat, as he quickly changed the tire the pack was able to bring Thompson back. The man who did a lot of pace making and break aways, is our friend and special guest cyclist Mr Scott aka 'da hammer' Hirshorn (New York, USA), hats off to him as he made the race even more faster for all. Many friends from Grand Bahama came also and took up the challenge with all their force, making quite an impression on the back roads of New Providence. All the cyclist rode with determination and gave the leading guys no time to 'sit back and relax'.

Yes! for the first time in about 10 years the Independence National Road Cycling Champion was decided in a massive sprint out. No position could be taken for granted at any point and it was any mans guess who would cross the finish line victorious. In the past it was a soul break away, but this was an all out violent sprint and every hundredth of a second saw the positioning change.As the dust cleared Tracy 'Show-Time' Sweeting caught his first National title which eluded him for the past 10 years, when it was over all he could say was " Thank you God"

During the seniors race, we must mention the talent of the juniors that rode along with them, Tony Mackey, Justin Minnis, Anthony Colebrook who rode the 48 mile circuit along with our Master III division, Ken and Brad who stayed with the pack for their entire race and in the midst of the pack were able to make a full-out sprint to the finish. Lawrence Jupp Jr and Jay Major (U23 and U14yrs) were phenomenal as they not only 'hung in' but were real competition.

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According to BACF President Roy Colebrook, this is just an indication of the move the Federation has embarked on, and for the cycling community to look forward to more programs and races like this in the future. An invitation has been extended to the public to come to the cycling track at the Q.E.S.C, because this is where you riding can be done in a safe, protected environment, and instructors are there to assist.

Special thanks for helping make this an exciting, safe event, and for support......

-The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, for being responsible for manning corners and marshaling the route for us.

-The Royal Bahamas Police Force outriders.

-The Trophy Case.

-The d'Albenas Agency, our corporate sponsors.

-Mr. Carlos Palacios, Pepsi Bahamas.

-The New Providence Cycling Association organizing team.

-Major sponsor The Bahamas Amateur Cycling Federation

-Jeff Major

- JAR Cycling for the wonderful pictures.

-The great ground support for the cyclist, everyone who prepared the refreshments and all our spectators.

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RESULTS: Sundays race Juniors 48 miles - this as all the others was a sprint to the end and so close only one time recorded - 2:41:43 sec. !st Anthony Colebrook - Team Warrior - 2nd Tony Mackey - Team JAR - Justin Minnis (DNF) Team Warriors

Master III 48 miles - a real fight for position, another crowd cheering sprint - 2:08:30.76sec. 1st Ken Powell - Independent - 2nd Bradley Heney - Team JAR

Overall results 72 miles - the crowd was in the street and there was no holding back, these guys 'owned the road'. Time: 3:13:10.12sec.

1st Tracy Sweeting Team JAR
2nd Rowshan Jones Team GB Cycling Club
3rd Kim Thompson Grand Bahama
4th Barron Musgrove Team Warlords
5th Wayne Price " "
6th Laurence Jupp Jr Team JAR
7th Johnny Hoyte Grand Bahama
8th Jay Major " "
9th Keith Major Grand Bahama
10th Mark Holowesko Team VMG
11th Scott Hirshorn " "
12th Eugene Heastie Independent Time: 3:14:39.79 sec. and another unbelievable sprint
13th Robert Jones Team JAR " from these two.
14th Robert Bethel Team Warriors Time: 3:45:27 sec. - determined to finish.

Category/positions Masters I
1st Tracy Sweeting
2nd Kim Thompson
3rd Barron Musgrove
4th Johnny Hoyte
5th Keith Major
6th Mark Holowesko
7th Scott Hirshorn

Masters II 1st Rowshan Jones
2nd Wayne Price 
3rd Eugene Heastie
4th Robert Jones
5th Robert Bethel.

U-23 1st Laurence Jupp Jr - 2nd Jay Major

What helped keep the pace up was the prize incentive the for sprint lap, which happened to be every 6 mile loop!!!

Mark took the first lap easily, Kim captured the 2nd, Tracy stole the 3rd by a hair, Johnny wouldn't let that happen again and tied Tracy for the 4th, Tracy would have no part of that and went home with 5th and 6th lap. Once again this was excitement from start to finish.


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