Home News Local sports KEYS SETS BRUTAL PACE TO TAKE CYCLING CROWN

KEYS SETS BRUTAL PACE TO TAKE CYCLING CROWN

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Strong winds and passing showers Sunday morning didn't deter a group of 20 bicycle
racers from competing for the 1999 V.I. Cycling Federation’s national crown.
The course for the year-end event was the rolling 12-mile North Shore route
running from Gentle Winds to the guard house at the Carambola Beach Resort. The field was split into an "A" group that had to complete three laps for 36 miles and a "B" group that had to complete two laps for 24 miles.
The race began with a mass start with a brutal opening pace set by Tom Guthrie. The "A" riders quickly pulled away from the rest of the field and an elite group of Guthrie, John Harper, Kent Bradbury, Jamie Keys and Neil Callahan maintained the fast pace. The group remained together throughout the race with the exception of Callahan who flatted and was unable to regain the lead group.
The pace was punishing and fast, averaging over 22.5 mph on the rolling, twisting route. Riders took turns at the front, pulling into the wind and reaching speeds of over 40 mph on the downhill sections. As the finish approached the four remained together for the sprint to the finish line.
The speed was high as the riders streaked towards the line but it was Keys who
took the victory.
"Keys had done much of the work through the race by pulling the other riders into the wind," said Mike McQueston, president of the V.I. Cycling Federation. "In many ways he controlled it. His sprint was good enough to best Harper by a mere six inches, with Guthrie a close third."
The "B" group race was equally exciting with a surprise finish. Sue "I haven't been riding" Brown took the victory over all the men with a excellent effort.
"Brown stayed with the main field through most of the first lap but when the race entered the hills she pulled away leaving the rest of the men to scratch their heads and wonder if they would see her again," McQueston said. "She was able to maintain her pace and was an easy winner in the "B" group."
Aaron Hutchins finished second and Kevin Burton third.
McQueston said that "all in all it was an excellent race and a fitting finish to an active season."
"Cycling is making a small comeback on the island and hopefully will continue to
grow in the next millennium," he said.
The VICF will again host races in January, probably starting with a competition
on the newly paved South Shore Road, McQueston said. For more info regarding cycling contact Mike McQueston at 772.2343.

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