Pachon wins 2018 Tobago Cycle Classic

By Clayton Clarke/Sean Mc Coon

CROWN POINT, Tobago: (Sun, Oct, 07) Oscar Pachon (VEN/Raiders) rode his way to the overall Division One title after claiming the final stage of the 2018 Tobago International Cycling Classic (TICC) yesterday.  Pachon completed the 130km Tour of Tobago ride in four hours 35 minutes 7.13 seconds (4:35:07.13) ahead of Vicente Sanabrias Martinez (CUB/Dutch Food Valley), 4:35:08.60 and Camilo Vargas (COL/Recapi), 4:41:07.95. With his win Pachon earned 50 points to amass a total of 123 to secure to overall honours ahead of Robert Sierra (VEN/Heatwave), 105 points and Camilio Vargas (COL/Recapi), 85.  He came into Sunday’s final stage narrowly ahead of Robert Sierra (VEN/Heatwave) as both were on 73 points. However, the 30 year old Colombian came out with the top prize of TT$15,000.00. Pachon’s victory is his second following his win in 2014.  This year’s Tour of Tobago leg was included in the stage race for the first time in recent years and counted for double points for the overall standings.

The riders left the start line at the Scarborough Esplanade along Milford Road just after 8 o’clock in the morning and proceeded west unto the Claude Noel Highway down to the Shirvan junction traffic lights across to Plymouth, up to Whim junction and up to Mason Hall. At that stage of the race the cyclists were still bunched. However, the leaders broke away over the Easterfield Road heading into Hope Village. The extended their lead until a wrong turn forced the organisers to stop the race near the entrance to Fort Granby just after 9 o’clock. The leaders had long past Fort Granby and had to return to waiting bunch. After the resumption Pachon and his South American rivals led the way into the hills of Goodwood up to Betsy’s Hope, Delaford and Speyside and down to Charlotteville.  The riders navigated the picturesque roads of Hermitage into Lanse Formi and Bloody Bay before heading back down the Northside Road through Des Vignes Road and Moriah before head back over through Easterfield Road to Hope and down to Lambeau via the Claude Noel Highway before heading back up to Scarborough along Milford  Road.

Local hope Emile Abraham did not finish the race dropping out just after 11 o’clock.  However, the Tobago-born cyclist copped the Sprint King standings ahead of Akil Campbell (TTO/Heatwave) and Bernardo Diaz (VEN/Support Clean Sport). Abraham was also voted the Top Caribbean Cyclist and was top place local in eighth (62 points). Martinez proved his strength in the hills and won the King of the Mountains (KOM) honours ahead of Pachon and Erick Roa (COL/Recapi) and also rode away with the Top Masters (Over 40) trophy. Sierra was the top under 23 rider and  Kemp Oscoso secured the Top T&T award. Sixty five (65) started the Division One competition.

Pachon helped his Raiders team to the Top Team honours with 267 points  ahead of Sentry/Boatyard (161) and Team Pharmaco (159).  Ulloa Rodriguez Wilmer (COL/Raiders) took home the Fast and Furious Kieren finals held on Saturday during the Market Square Criterium. He completed the two laps sprint in 3:13.58 ahead of Luis Diaz (VEN/Support Clean Support), 3:17.70, and Albert Ramos (Dom/Team Pharmaco), 3:13.90. The TTO duo of  Abraham (3:14.55)and Heatwave Tyler Cole (3:26.32) were fifth and sixth.

Maurice Burnette (TTO/Pheonix) won Division Two with 49 points ahead of Andres Diaz (VEN/Raiders) 45 and Dominic Howard (BAR/Heatwave). The Division Two stage race ended on Saturday.

The cyclists received their prizes at the TICC Grand closing ceremony at the TICC Village at Johnston’s Apartments in Crown Point last on Sunday. THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, Debra Coryat Patton, Chairman of the Sports and Culture Fund of the Office of the Prime Minister were present to hand out prizes and award.