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Top cyclists set for Challenge
Adrian Frater, News Editor
A TOP-CLASS field including Pan-Am Games gold medallist O'Neil Samuels, national junior champion Ricardo Kerr and road race master champion Donald Hall are slated to face the starter this Sunday when the inaugural High Cadence Cycling Club (HCCC) North Coast Challenge race hits the roads.
According to Wayne Smith, the president of HCCC, the race, which will start in Ocho Rios and end in Montego Bay, will cover a distance of 60 miles or 96.54 kilometres.
"We will start at 8:00 a.m. at the Ruins Sugar House in Ocho Rios and finish across from the Federal Express building near the Sangster International Airport roundabout in Montego Bay," said Smith. "This race will feature riders from various categories, spanning junior to masters."
In addition to the likes of Samuels, Hall and Kerr, who are considered among the elites in local cycling, President Smith said rising junior star Michael Daley was among those expected to figure prominently.
"The junior category should be quite good as Kerr, who finished fourth in the recent eight-mile Criterion race at the Caribbean Junior Championship in Barbados, is in good form," said Smith. "So are most of the other cyclists who have been riding on the local circuit."
In addition to testing their skills, the cyclists, who are from all over the island, will also get an opportunity to pocket some cash.
In the elite category, first-place will receive $8,000, second-place will receive $6,000 and third $5,000. In the master's category, the winner will collect $8,000,second $6,000 and third $4,000. In the Under-16s, the winner will pocket $5,000, second $3,000 and third $2,000.
"This course that the 60 riders will compete on is a good one and will be exciting to ride for cyclists from Kingston, Portland, May Pen, Westmoreland and Montego Bay," said Smith. "We are expecting a lot of excitement over the 60 miles."