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Cycling: Daley speeds away with Pro-Am crown at rotary club of montego bay east bikeathon jamaica challenge
Adrian Frater, News Editor
Nineteen-year-old Michael Daley of the Montego Bay-based High Cadence Cycling Club emerged the toast of yesterday's Rotary Club of Montego Bay East Bikeathon Jamaica Challenge 2009, when he won the 75-kilometre Pro/Am from Ironshore in Montego Bay to Duncans in Trelawny, and back.
"It was quite a challenging ride but I was quite prepared for it," said Daley, who outclassed a strong field that included last year's winner, Kenneth Kerr. "I felt quite good and once I broke away from the pack on my way back, I knew they could not catch me."
Daley, a category three four rider, covered the gruelling journey in a smart two hours, five minutes and 40 seconds. In doing so, he got the better of category one/two contenders Tinga Turner and Dean Martin, who took second and third, respectively.
In the secondary event, the 25-kilometre ride from Ironshore to Sea Castles - near the outskirts of Montego Bay - Shaquille Sinclair raced away from a competitive field to cross the finish line in front. Loxley Vassell, who had the early advantage but struggled towards the end, took second place.
In the usually popular Masters section, the consistent Patrick Lee emerged an easy winner ahead of Wayne Smith and Dermott Connolly, who both gave a very good account of themselves.
The riders were not the only ones to generate interest in the event, which featured a 'walkers' and 'runners' category for the first time. Among the celebrity participants were Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Charles Sinclair, West Central St James Member of Parliament Clive Mullings, and Imani Duncan-Waite, head of marketing at Jamaica Money Market Brokers.
"This year's event was once again a success for us," said Noel White of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay. "The addition of the 'walkers' and 'runners' sections added another dimension, as in addition to bringing out more families, it also brought out a lot of persons from corporate Jamaica."
In the children's section, which had very strong representation, the outstanding riders were Donnaro Hall, a lanky nine-year-old girl, who comfortably won the Under-10 section, which featured both boys and girls; and two-year-old Sydney Eaton, who took fourth place in the under-six category.
This year's event, which was staged under the theme, "Cycling for a Cause - Education", had as its primary objective, raising $8 million.
Since the inception of this event in 1995, millions of dollars in assistance has been provided to needy students to help them complete their education.