Caribbean trio take lead on day one of Jamaica International Cycling Classic
From left to right: Elon Parkinson, jead of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Digicel, poses with day one second place finisher, Akil Campbell from Trinidad and Tobago; race leader, Hasani Hennis from Anguilla; and, third place finisher, Briton John from Guyana.

ST JAMES, Jamaica - A contingent of Caribbean cyclists dominated day one of the Jamaica International Cycling Classic in Montego Bay on Friday morning.

Set off to conquer a 56-mile course, Hasani Hennis from Anguilla, Akil Campbell from Trinidad and Tobago, and Briton John from Guyana, led the pack of 60 riders in that order. Hennis, who’s also representing the Miami Blazers Cycling Club with Campbell, crossed the finish line first on day one of the three-day event in one hour, 13 minutes and 45 seconds.

Shortly after donning the traditional yellow race leader jersey, Hennis commented, “It’s a wonderful course with smooth roads, a perfect course for racing. The headwinds were an easy part of me. We (himself and Akil) clearly are the strongest two riders, so we intend to win all the prizes again tomorrow.”

Those prizes are supported by Digicel, back for the second year in a row as sponsor.

“We are throwing our support behind the Classic because we believe in the possibility of making it a staple on the global cycling calendar. Jamaica has had a long history of great potential in cycling, now it’s time for us to take our place on the global stage, beginning with this event,” head of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Digicel, Elon Parkinson, highlighted.

Chief organiser of the International Jamaica Cycling Classic, Carlton Simmonds, was pleased with the turnout and the intensity of the competition along the journey that crossed into sections of Trelawny and back the starting point.

“It’s looking and shaping up to be an exciting three days. These guys from the Caribbean are some very strong riders,”Simmonds commented.

He added, “I’m excited about the higher turnout of international participants. Last year we had two international teams, this year we have seven, bringing us to a total of 60 starters.”

The riders will set out from Whitter Village in the tourism capital at 7:30 Saturday morning for an 80-mile journey to Discovery Bay, St Ann. On the final day, Sunday, the contingent will take on a 60-mile journey to Duncans, Trelawny.

The Masters category was won by Kirk Finikin, followed by Andy Texeira, with Garreth Moore taking third place.

-- Horace Hines

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