Pachon upstage Abraham in stage Two.

By Clayton Clarke/Sean Mc Coon

CROWN POINT, Tobago: (Thu, Oct, 4), Oscar Pachon (Colombia/Raiders) ran away with the Stage Two of the Division One race at the 2018 Tobago International Cycling Classic (TICC) which started and ended at Old Grange Beach in Mt. Irvine earlier today. The 2014 champion left his rivals well beaten as crossed the final line in the 90km/5 lap race in two hours minutes seconds (2:33:19.48), close to two minutes  ahead of the closely bunched chasing pelaton.  As impressive the 30 year old rode he nonetheless broke the hearts of Tobago fans as home town boy Emile Abraham was beaten by Pachon into second place (2:35:12.51). Abraham was involved in blanket finish with five other riders. The photo finish equipment ruled that Martiniquan Edwin Nubul (Sentry/Boatyard), 2:35:12.57 took third spot ahead of  German Kevin Vogel (Embrace The World),  2:35:12.59, Vicent Sanabrias Martinez (Cuba/Dutch Food Valley), 2:35:12.65 and Robert Sierra (Venezulea/Heatwave), 2:35:12.65.  Abraham did not confirm his participation in the race until moments before the start but the 44 year old made his claim for glory in the penultimate lap but Pachon remained too far ahead  and won the stage.  Abraham, a Scarborough/Signal Hill Secondary graduate, showed he still has the power in the legs that propelled him to the 2007 Pan American Games silver medal. The Colombian riders led in the early laps as Ulloa Rodriguez Wilmer (Colombia/Raiders) took lap one ahead of the Heatwave duo of Barbadian Jamol Eastmond and T&T’s CAC Games bronze medalliss Akil Campbell. Jorge Navarete (Colombia/Recapi)  was first to finish the second loop ahead of the Venezuelan pair of Clever Martinez (Raiders) and Bernardo Diaz (Support Clean Sport).  Martinique’s Edwin Nubul (Sentry/Boatyward) broke away to take lap three of Navarete and stage one leader Carlos Linares (Venezuela/Raiders). However, American Cyrus Pearo (Dutch Food Valley) sneeked ahead of the pack at the end of the fourth circuit in front of Abraham and Cuban Vicente Sanabrias Martinez (Dutch Food Valley). Linares had fallen off the pace, dropping down to 11th with one lap to go. Pachon used his experience of competing at TICC for the third time to draw away from the field to secure the stage.

Pachon’s stage two victory pushed him in the overall lead with 44 points and will wear the yellow jersey in Stage Three, the Plymouth Village Criterium on Friday from 1:30pm. Stage One leader Carlos Linares (Venezuela/Raiders) slipped to second after he was seventh in stage two with 40 points the same as Abraham who is in third.

Abraham outkicked his younger rivals to lead the sprint king ranking ahead of Martinez and Navarete. He was the top Masters (Over 40) rider for the second straight stage and also the top Caribbean and T&T rider. Sierra landed the top U23 rider prize.  Raiders continue to lead the Team standings ahead of Sentry/Boatyard and Team Pharmaco.  The Plymouth Criterium will see Division One riders vying for glory over 65 laps/65km and Division One competitors 20 laps/26km. The Division Three riders w thill make their entry in the Classic over 5 laps/7km.

Earlier on Friday morning from 7:30, the organisers have added the Gran Fondo event where competitors ride for fun around Tobago.

The annual Tobago International Cycling Classic is now in 33st edition. This year will see the introduction of the Gran Fondo event on Friday, where the riders will take a trip around the island ahead of Sunday’s finale-Tour of Tobago.

The  Market Square criterium (Division One-60 km/60 laps, Division Two-20 km/20 laps, Division three-5km/5 laps)  is set for Wilson Road, Scarborough Sat, October, 6 (8:30am). The 2018 TICC will culminate with Tour of Tobago 130km race around Tobago on Sunday from 7:30pm.

Over 100 riders from Germany, USA, Great Britain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Anguilla, Barbados, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Lucia battle against the best riders from Trinidad and Tobago.

Sponsors: Tobago House of Assembly (THA), The Sports and Culture Fund, National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), National Gas Company (NGC), Ministry of Tourism, Dasani Water, British Airways, Econo Car Rentals, El Pecos, Agostini Insurance, Crown Point Hotel, Johnston Apartments, B Mobile, Holiday Snacks, Bermudez.

Quotes

OSCAR PACHON (speaking through a translator)…..”it was a very hard race today with the climb and the heat which played a lot in the race but I was happy I was able to win the second stage.  I went from the last hill where I (felt) I could make the most difference. When I went over the top I put down my head and went all the way to the finish line. (The experience of racing here twice before) helped a lot. I have been here before. (Looking ahead to the Plymouth Criterium), It is a very hard race but I have a great team which is experience in criteriums. I want to stay close to the front.

EMILE ABRAHAM…. “I am just running with it and  I am just enjoying it. I am still not putting any pressure on myself.  After this I am going to the Masters World Championships and that is what I am preparing for and hopefully I  can carry these legs to the Worlds. Plymouth is a good course for me. I was third last year and I have better legs this year and hopefully the team could work well and I can get another good result and just keep moving up. As long as I keep placing and I can be up there on the podium.”

JEFF CHARLES…”Today’s race is the first attempt for the cyclists to deal with Tobago’s hills.  It is a very challenging race and you will see the mountain climbers who I think will come out in front. I am expecting lots of strategies with the teams vying for the King of the Mountain points, the sprint points and also for the win. All the teams will the man they want to win and everything will work around that person in each time. We will see strategy after the second or third lap.”

Stage Three in Plymouth where we go to the crits, the criteriuims, flat and fast races. Very exciting and one of our feature events. There are lots of spectators. Stage Four –Market Square, 1km crits. Cycling pass like ever and half minute. Those two races are geared for the sprinters.

In the Division Two 75km/3 lap race, Andres Diaz (Venezuela/Raiders) was first to cross the tape clocking 1:42:46.29, ahead of local riders Maurice Burnette (Pheonix), 1:46:48.41 and Nathan Alexander (Team Woods) 1:42:52.14.  Stage One winner Andre Greene (Guyana/Rigtech Sonics) started brightly leading lap one ahead of Diaz and Dominic Howard (Barbados/Heatwave) before Burnette moved ahead at the completion of lap two with Greene and T&T’s Christopher Govia (Breakaway) following behind. Diaz changed from his front riding approach for Stage Two and held back until the final lap to make his drive for victory and his wait paid off.  Greene fell back to seventh at the finish after experiencing mechanical problems.

Quotes

ANDRES DIAZ…..”Today was hard race for me. I am not good at the climbs. I came down with the boys. I praise God I won the stage.  (My second place yesterday) was motivation to me. I come in with my mind saying I really want to stay. I give all the glory to God. For tomorrow I want to keep the jersey. I am getting better but I never raced crits in Venezuela so it is new race for me.