“Live to Ride” was the theme of the 13th Annual John T Memorial Cycle Race which was sponsored by LIME. The event was hosted in Anguilla over two days on July 7th and 8th and featured a series of races in which cyclists representing Anguilla and other countries participated. The highlight of the cycle meet was the 131 kilometre Elite Class race which took place on Sunday July 8th. Of the 37 cyclists competing, 9 represented Anguilla. They included Justin Hodge and also Danny Laud who represented Anguilla at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Anguilla was an early favourite to win as Danny’s 19 year old brother, Elroy Laud, managed to stay in the lead group. He was not the only cyclist to wield a pair of young legs as St. Martin’s 5th-stage winner of the Tour of Marie Galante, Belair Edwige, and Barbados’ 2010 Caribbean Junior Cycling champion, Russell Elcock, both 19 years of age also pedalled for position. With so many youngsters fighting for the lead in one of the Caribbean’s toughest races a clear leader could not be determined for most of the race.
Hundreds of Anguillians lined the street to witness the possible spectacle of an Anguillian winning the John T Memorial for the first time. However, the experience of St. Maarten’s 27 year old Clarico Mickael dashed the hopes of onlookers after he broke away from the pack to take control of the lead. With one and a half laps remaining, the increased pace and a sweltering 89 degrees heat, the youngsters, including Anguilla’s Elroy Laud, became unresponsive to the new challenge. Untroubled by the demanding conditions, the Frenchman, Belair Edwige was the only youngster to respond to Clarico’s challenge. Belair followed closely behind Clarico for the remainder of the race before edging him out at the finish to take the 2012 John T Memorial Elite Class title. Clarico finished a mere nine one-hundredths of a second behind Belair’s time of 3 hours, 39 minutes and 47 seconds.
The other top 5 finishers were Belair’s teammate, Damien Maroni, in 3rd and Guyana’s Rdynanuk Jeffrey and Orvile Hinds in 4th and 5th respectively. Anguilla’s top finisher was Elroy Laud in 8th position leading his countrymen Andrew Reece, Benjamin Phillip, Justin Hodge, Sherwin Osborne and Vinesh Narine who finished 10th, 12th, 13th, 16th, and 17th respectively.
Although another John T Memorial has come and gone without an Anguillian capturing the Elite Class title, fans and supporters had something to brag about as Danny Laud won the individual time trial on day 1 of the Memorial. Danny clocked a time of 18 minutes and 55 seconds ahead of Russell Elcock and Clarico Mickael who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively on the 13 kilometre circuit. Day 1 also hosted the Junior Race which was won by Paul De Nobrega of Guyana, as well as the A Class race which was won by St. Maarten’s Dean Hodge Jr.
Chief time and scorekeeper, Roland Morgan, and assistant George Baptiste of ABACA Sports Timing, provided the results and statistics for this year’s events.