MIAMI Blazers’ Jonny Browne, of the United States, topped the field of division one cyclists to win stage one of the Tobago International Cycling Classic (TICC) which rode off on Milford Road on Friday.
Browne completed the 10-lap, 100-kilometre circuit in two hours, 14 minutes and 19 seconds (2:14.19) to take an early lead on the three-stage tour.
Team Foundation’s Matio Garcia (Colombia) finished in a close second, in 2:14.22, followed by countryman and two-time TICC winner Oscar Pachon, who clocked 2:14.24.
Browne’s fellow American teammate Mason Schofield (2:15.05) rounded off the top four finishers.
After the race, Browne was pleased to open his TICC debut campaign with a victory. He was happy to quell rumours that Miami Blazers was the “fun” team.
Speaking to TICC media, he said, “There was a bit of chit chat before the race saying that ‘we’re here with the fun team’ so we kind of proved everybody wrong. We’re not slack riders.
“Now people know we’re not here for fun anymore. They’re going to be looking at us a bit more, knowing how strong we are. So we’re going to come after it, play our cards and see how it goes.”
Browne said the humid conditions and coastal crosswind proved a challenge. However, he is ready for Saturday’s stage two, the Wilson Road Criterium.
“The heat and terrain was pretty hard. Everybody thought the climate was going to be the hardest part but the crosswind was along the ocean got to us. Now we just got to try to recover. We’re a criterium team so we’re pretty familiar and ready to rock.”
In division two, Rigtech Sonics’ Andre Green was first to complete the five-lap, 50km course. In a sprint finish, he crossed the line in 1:17.27.30.
Venezuelan Josias Valsquez (Team Pharmaco) placed second in 1:17.27.91 while TT and Heatwave cyclist Kirsten George was third in 1:17.28.
And, in the division three/casual bikers category, unattached Tobagonian Jervon Adams topped the field. He clocked 34 minutes and 20 seconds (34:20) over the 20-lap/20km circuit.
Team Raiders’ Peter Parks (34:21) finished as runner-up while another unattached Tobago cyclist, James London (34:51), was third.
Stage two pedal off in Scarborough from 8 am on Saturday. The division one and international field will race over 50 laps/50km, division two 20 laps and division three five laps.
The third and final stage is the 120km Tour of Tobago set to ride off on Sunday at 7 am. The racers depart the Scarborough Esplanade, make their way around Tobago before returning to the finish on the Esplanade.