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Bikeathon 2006 on today in western Jamaica

Adrian Frater, News Editor


CYCLING WILL take centrestage in western Jamaica today, when the Rotary Club of Montego Bay stages its new-look two-day 'Bikeathon 2006/Jamaica Challenge', featuring a host of professional and recreational riders.

The event, which is endorsed by the Jamaica Cycling Federation, is being staged under the theme 'Cycling for a Cause'. It will take place at the Montego Bay Park Estate, in Ironshore.


The concept is the club's premier fund-raising event to finance its scholarship and bursaries fund, geared towards assisting students in need of assistance to complete their high school, vocational and tertiary education.

"We spent over $2.5 million on scholarships last year," said club president Lee Bailey. "We assisted over 25 students last year and we are certainly looking to increase that number this year."

Unlike former years, the criterion phase of the event will be staged today (Saturday). The event is a 'time and lap' affair with varying standards for the different categories of riders.

"This is a step in the right direction to garner more international attention and increase the profile of the event," said Vaughn Phang, the president of the Jamaica Cycling Federation. "We are delighted that this event is now a weekend affair."


Tomorrow's grand finale, which will begin and end at the Fairview Shopping Centre in Bogue, promises to be a dazzling affair as the event is open to riders of all categories.

Juniors will ride five kilometres, recreational riders will cover the 25-kilometre spanning the Fairview Shopping Centre to the Great River Bridge and back, while professionals/amateurs will ride the 75 kilometres to Lucea in Hanover and back.

The event has attracted corporate support, including a $200,000 cheque from main sponsors Digicel.

To enhance the final-day package, there will be a live entertainment package featuring the Dancing Dynamites, The Goofy Brothers and the G Squad.