TWENTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD New Zealander, Joel Yates (Heatwave), was crowned "King of the Avenue", on Wednesday night, when he conquered an experienced field of local and international endurance riders to capture the coveted 2019 Beacon Cycling on the Avenue 35-lap main event.
Yates showed grit over the challenging 42km distance and had to dig deep to fend off the likes of defending champion, Cuban-American Frank Travieso (Team Pharmaco); Tobago Classic stage one winner, Colombian Bryan Gomez (Raiders); National Omnium title-holder Akil Campbell (PSL) and American speedster, Kyle Kirby (Marc Pro One).
With 25 laps to go, the quintet of riders affirmed their dominance by easily pulling away from the main bunch. Together, they capitalised on their lead and pedalled to several hefty cash prizes courtesy the many sponsors of the 2019 edition.
In the final lap, however, thirty-nine year-old Travieso attempted to become Beacon’s first-ever back-to-back champion by initiating an early sprint to the finish line. However, Yates’ youthful legs would have none of it as he also changed gears, grabbing a hairline victory over the veteran road racer. Travieso would hold on to a deserving runner-up finish while Kirby bagged bronze, with Campbell and Kirby rounding off the top five respectively.
In the end, Yates pocketed the hefty $10,000 pot, adding yet another local title to his name during his short stay in the twin-island republic. Two weeks prior, the vibrant New Zealander also captured the Brooklyn Bar and Vibes Cycling Classic which was held in Woodbrook.
“The race was awesome but the victory was even sweeter. I’m just really happy to pull it off for Heatwave. They were kind enough to invite me on to the team to race the Tour of Tobago, Brooklyn Vibes and tonight’s Beacon Cycling. They’ve treated me like family since my arrival, I really can’t thank them, my teammates, mom and dad for all the support,” he stated following the victory.
Yates will be going for his third title along TT soil when he lines up alongside another packed cast of local and foreign riders at The Raiders’ Earl Osborne Memorial Classic, which pedals off on Saturday, at King George V Park, St Clair.
Topping the event for TT was Campbell (third overall), national junior champion Enrique De Comarmond and Joshua Alexander (Raiders) respectively.
Meanwhile, in the Division Two (15-laps), Rigtech Sonics’ D’Angelo Harris held off a late charge to cop gold. He beat to the line eventual runner-up and clubmate Zion Pollidore and third placed Nathan Alexander (Team Woods).
Additionally, Raiders’ Alberto Ramos pumped his legs to triumph in the fast-paced International and Invitational two-lap sprint. Grabbing silver in this speed-filled event was Kirby followed by bronze medallist, Scott McGill (Heatwave).
In the women’s division, Heatwave was again among the top performers as Alexi Costa emerged the overall winner followed by Belize’s National Time Trial champion, Kaya Catthouse (Team Pharmaco).
The eighth edition of the Beacon Cycling on the Avenue received a healthy investment of $250,000 from the title sponsors. The main race alone saw a grand prize of $10,000 with over $15,000 in sprint primes on specific laps.
Top 40+ - 1. Marlon Roach
Top 50+ - Dirk Tidd
Primary School Duathlon
Male 7 & Under – 1. Alex Worthman; 2. Jeduthan Henry; Eli Clarke
Female 7 & Under – 1. Melina Lopez
Male 8-9 – 1. Josiah Alexander; 2. John-Michael Abraham; 3. Jahziel Gordon
Female 8-9 – 1. Maleah Butler; 2. Teniqua Scott; 3. Leah De-Freitas
Male 10-12 – 1. Tristan Scott; 2. Benjamin Chai-Hong; 3. Harland Samuel
Female 10-12 – 1. Erin Sylvester; 2. Sayari Leitch; 3. Daniella Sambrano
Secondary School Duathlon
Male 13 & Under – 1. Ross Worthman; 2. Kevin Lewis; 3. Kaydeen Siewrattan
Female 13 & Under – 1. Makaira Wallace; 2. Janae Price; 3. Steffi Scott
Male 14-15 – 1. Matthew Worthman; 2. Josh Fuller; 3. Jordan Selby
Female 14-15 – 1. Melania Nanton; 2. Chiara Mohammed
Male 16-19 – 1. Troy Llanos; 2. Matthew D’Abadie
Female 16-19 – 1. Arianne Rocke