Tobago International Cycling Classic 2011 Race Report
Classic 2011 Day 1 – Shirvan Circuit Race – Stage 1
Today was a great start to the first stage of the Tobago International Cycling Classic 2011, the race started fast with points being giving on the first lap of the ten lap’s event around the classic Carnbee course that has been the only course since the start of the event twenty-five years ago. There was four sets of points which saw Euris Vidale top sprinter and the green jersey winner with 28 points, second when to RAPHAEL Meran (both riding for Team Foundation) with 27 points and Riccardo Zoidl of team Austria in third with 25 points. Emile Abraham of team Vita Malt had to settle for fourth with 24 points.
In the race for the Yellow Jersey (race leader), from the start riders were off the front bidding to be the first rider to hold the race leader’s jersey going into the second stage but it was Riccardo Zoidl, who was 2nd in the Austrian national Road Race in 2011, made his move at the top of the final climb to steal the Victory from a fast finishing Euris Vidale 2nd and Emile Abraham 3rd to take the yellow Jersey on day one.
Classic 2011 Day 1 – Les Coteaux Road Race Stage 2
This 29.5 km. stage had approx 10 kilometers of climbing and would prove to be the most demanding stage for all participants. Today, Jose Navarro was the best of the climbers and showed his dominance to cross the finish alone to win the stage with Lang Reynolds in 2nd and Stefan Rabitsch in 3rd. Green Jersey went to Navarro and the Yellow to Richardio Zoidl , even though he finished 7th in the stage, he still had enough points to regain the overall lead.
Classic 2011 Day 3 – Plymouth Criterium Race – Stage 3
Thrills and Spills on the fast Plymouth 1.1km criterium course being used for the first time. The Plymouth course had four 90 degree left hand turns and the riders had to use their years of bike skills to conquer this technical course. We saw a lot of small crashes and we say small because no one was rushed to the hospital or had anything broken in the first set of laps. But as the riders got accustomed to this exciting Plymouth course we saw one rider that was just above the rest on that day. Nick Deams of Belgium riding for team 1% out of Canada took the lead with 40 laps to go in a 50 lap race, with 20 laps to go he had already lapped the peloton and was leading them when they came around .There was also another race heating up and that was for the green sprinter’s jersey being dominated by Jose Navarro Team COCO out of Miami, followed close, by Raphael Meran of team Foundation and Emile Abraham for Team Vita Malt.
Now back to the yellow jersey race. It’s now ten laps to go and Team 1% has just run out of spear wheels and Emile Abraham is on a break with Werner Riebenbauer (Austria), Hernner Rodel (Germany) and Nils Penton (Sweden).In the end Nick Deams Took the victory one lap ahead with Riebenbauer 2nd and Abraham in 3rd .To make things even better Tobago boy Abraham pulled on the leader’s jersey, leading by one point ahead of Riccardo Zoidl of Austria but just to makes things exciting the top nine riders were separated by 19 points making it anyone’s race with one stage to go.
Classic 2011 Day 1 – Market Square, Scarborough Criterium Race – Stage 4
The I km. Market square course was packed with people all round to watch the race. With Emile Abraham leading by one point we knew that this 60 lap race would be hard for him to hold off the opposition on this fast course.
The laps were fast & furious with all Teams going for glory in this final stage. Every ten laps there were a mad sprint for preme points and it was plain to see that Abraham who was third in the green jersey was saving himself the final to take the overall win. Navarro of Team COCO saw this as an opportunity to take as much as he could and that he did. Securing his win as Sprint King over the 4 stages with 57 points. His closes rival was Raphael Meran of Team Foundation and Nick Daems Team 1% finishing in third.
When we thought that the race was about to cool down in the midday heat, it just got hotter as RC Gourmetfein Wels (Team Austria) went on the attack first with Andreas Graft, followed by Stephen Rabitsch and the man who was 4th overall coming into the final stage Werner Riebenbauer. Team Vita Malt had eight riders at the start and was now down to four. Darren Mathews was leading the pack as they caught Reibenbauer, then came the kitchen sink which came heavy and hard with only five laps to go, it was the rider second overall, Riccardo Zoidl he was quickly followed by Abraham’s team mate from Russia, Serghei Tvetcov. Not once Tvetcov came to the front in the remaining laps hoping his team leader would be able to come up to them but the time gap went out from 10sec. to 15 and on the final lap 25 seconds was the gap. Tvetcov will save face for his team by winning the stage with Zoidl in 2nd and Yosmani Pol of Team COCO in third. Abraham would finish 13th on the stage and drop to 5th overall.
TOUR OF TOBAGO UCI 1.2 ROAD RACE
After four days of grueling racing in temperatures exceeding 32 degrees Celsius the skies became gray for the first time and the down pour started from around 4:30 am and did not stop until 7:30, two hours before race time. This meant that the hair rising descents would be more dangerous than ever, so even before the 9 am start we knew that there would be some men left at the side of the road. All the points were now gone and this was no longer the Tobago International Cycling Classic but the painstaking UCI 1.2 Tour of Tobago. The riders would cover a total of 112km, traveling over 6 mountain tops on which king of the mountain points will be given.
Nick Daems of team 1% would be our early leader and would stay in the lead for three quarter of the race but with 20 km and one climb to go; he cracked but will be only be pass by one rider. Riccardo Zoidl of RC Gourmetfein Wels (Austria), who would go on to win the last climb and also take the 40 points for the first ever UCI 1.2 Tour of Tobago. Finishing in second was the man who also took the King of the Mountains Jersey, Nick Daems and third went to Wiele Mathias from Austria riding for Team Janatec. Barry Luces was the top Trinidad rider finishing in 21th place.