Antigua’s Gayral Denied At OECS

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Antigua and Barbuda dominated the top five in the recently held OECS Cycling Championships in Dominica but failed to retain its title after young cyclist, Emmanuel Gayral was beaten to the line by St. Lucia’s Andrew Norbert on Sunday.
Emmanuel clocked a time of 3 hours, 5 seconds and 43 parts of a second (3:05.43) to finish second, just beaten by Norbert who finished in a time of 3:05.03 in a sprint to the line.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Association (ABCA), Mervyn Gore, commended all of the cyclists, adding that this year’s event was especially gruesome where the terrain was concerned.   
“Emmanuel, he rode 75 percent of the race by himself and it was no easy feat. The race was very difficult, we had to climb over 8000 feet in Dominica and it was over 60 miles. Emmanuel rode very well but we worked as a team and it was quite unfortunate that there was a St. Lucian who was up with us also and he just clipped Emmanuel to the line,” he said. 
Last year’s champion, Jyme Bridges Jr., finished third (3:01.13) while Renee Gayral was fourth in a time of 3:01.55. Veteran Robert Marsh closed (3:04.47) in the fifth position.
The association, according to Gore, will invest more time and finances into the development of the sport at a grassroots level.
“What the federation is trying to do is that we are trying to put a lot of emphasis on youth cycling. Our elite cyclists are a bit advanced in age so hence the reason for focusing a lot on the youths and it’s showing, it’s evident that the youths are performing,” he said.
“They will be having a meet in Anguilla, the John T. Memorial and we have done fairly well in that and also, they will be having a Caribbean championship in Martinique and the juniors will go off to Bermuda in November,” the president added.
Jeffery Kelsick also competed at the OECS but did not finish as he fell after colliding with a cyclist from Martinique.
Anguilla’s Hasini Hennis finished sixth with St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ Zefal Bailey finishing seventh. Dominica’s Bram Sanderson was eighth with Grenada’s Danny Scott and Anguilla’s Zambezi Richardson ending in the ninth and 10th positions respectively.

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