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Kerr outlasts throng in blanket finish
Adrian Frater, News Editor
National junior champion, 16-year-old Ricardo Kerr, emerged the toast of yesterday's Bikeathon Jamaica Challenge '08, when he won the 75-kilometre race from Montego Bay to Lucea, and back, in a decent one hour and 50 minutes, as he upstaged several senior riders.
"Last year I tried it and did not win. I thought I did very well so I came back this year determined to win," said Kerr, who resides in Montego Bay. "I am extremely proud of my performance today because I raced against an extremely talented group of riders."
Razor thin victory
Kerr's margin of victory was razor thin as there was a blanket finish with some 10 riders closing in on the finish line together. Oniel Sinclair finished second, while Leighton Anderson and former champion Raydeen Lawson took third and fourth, respectively.
Noel White, chairman of Bikeathon '08, was elated with the overall event, which has been staged annually for the past 13 tears by the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East. According to him, from an operational perspective, this year has been the smoothest event.
"It flowed as smoothly as never before," said White. "And with regard to the finish in the pro section, this is the closest finish we have ever had as we had a blanket finish with some 15 riders crossing the finishing line almost together. It was a fantastic finish."
In the recreation section, which covered the 25-kilometre course from Montego Bay to Great River, and back, the winner was another resident of Montego Bay, 16-year-old Loxley Vassell, who outpaced Bryan Williams, Calvin James and Romaine Grey in the sprint for the finish line.
"This is the first event I have ever won, so I am extremely pleased about it," said Vassell. "It was quite a tough race but I gave it everything I had and it worked out for me."
In the children's section, which featured an Under-6 and Under-10 category, the excitement was constant as family and friends shouted and screamed for the entire five-kilometre circuit around the Fair Complex in Montego Bay.
In the Under-6 category, Tatdre Watt crossed the finish line in front, followed by Sheldon Virgo and Tajay Stewart. In the Under-10 section, Lee Cardoza won easily ahead of Andrew Azan and Zachary Moodie.
The event, which is staged annually to raise money for the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East Education Fund, also featured several celebrities, including Montego Bay Mayor, Councillor Charles Sinclair, and president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Pauline Reid.