Story and photos by Brandon Corlette
One of Berbice’s best cycling talents, Romello Crawford spent the storm on a rainy Sunday morning on the Corentyne highways to capture the top honors in the Mohabir Baljeet Sukhpaul memorial bike race. Crawford stopped the 46-mile race clock at two hours one minute.
Due to persistent rain across the Ancient County, the race took off from 09: 00h at Sukhpaul Gas Station in New Amsterdam, and ended at Sukhpaul Corriverton Gas Station. Crawford was joined by tags from the Hicks brothers, but that proved inadequate as he won the intense sprint against the older Hicks, Andrew, who finished second.
Young David Hicks came third while Mario Washington rode fourth and Jason Cameron came fifth. Crawford picked up four sprint prizes while David and Andrew each received three sprint prizes.
In the veterans category, Syborne Fernandes came top while Fitzroy Tang came second.
In the junior category, David Hicks, who came third overall, emerged as the winner while Mario Washington (second) and Jeremiah Joseph (third) rounded out the top three. Richard Crandon and Raj Mootoo were the top two young people.
After the race, the champion cyclist credited his experience and class for the result. Crawford said the conditions were terrible in the cold breeze. He noted that the Hicks brothers tried to tag him a team, but overcame that fight to emerge as a victor. With a host of racing events set for April-May, the youngster from Number One Road said he was aiming to register victories. He said he had recently started training and was slowly reaching his peak.
The race had 16 sponsors in total and two minor accidents; it was the first in the Ancient County for the 2021 season, and was a success. According to cycling coach Randolph Roberts, this race and the others to follow will prepare Berbice riders for the national cycling championships.
The title sponsors, the Sukhpauls, were delighted to show the riders, and this race marked the second Sukhpaul sponsored event. The next race in Ancient County is set for May 2, and that event is the Crawford-sponsored race.