ST JOHN’S, Antigua – National female cycling champion and the reigning Sportswoman of the Year, Tamiko Butler, said she had anticipated that she would have won the National Cycling Championships Female Division put on by the Antigua & Barbuda Cycling Association (ABCA) on Sunday.
Butler, who clocked 1:38.51 to outshine her opponents in the Female Division, said she was so engrossed in the B Class competition that she was unaware she had completed the female category.
“I would have been disappointed if I didn’t win the female national title. It was a tough race overall but mainly because I competed with the guys as well so I was competing to win the B Class which I did; so I did the three laps with the females and to be honest, I actually forgot that it was the end of my female race because I was very into the race with the guys,” she said.
Butler rode in some distance ahead of the silver medallist, Lyndsay Duffy who clocked 2:01.10.
Dorothy Graham-Charles (3:09.24) finished third in the women’s category.
Meanwhile, Jyme Bridges Jr won the men’s division of the Nationals in 3:10.53, edging “the new kid on the block” Andre Simon of Team Terminix who closed the race in 3:11.40 to pedal away with silver medal honours in the 66-mile event.
But contrary to Butler’s experience, Bridges said the competition was gruelling.
“I knew it was going to be challenging but before the race me and the guys worked out a strategy which seemed foolproof and we just had to believe in it and just what we planned and just what we planned it worked out the same way,” he said.
“The route has a lot of climbs. It has some areas with a lot of headwinds and an area where it gets very fast, and I am an all-rounder cyclist and it just goes along with me anyway you put it – I am good with the hills and I am good with the defence so,” Bridges added.
Lynn Murray, who now resides in the USA, clocked 3:14.04 as he finished third in the A Class.
Action in the Junior Division of the Championships was just as competitive with Jaleel Canonnier of Team Terminix taking top honours in 2:15.13.
Canonnier nudged teammate Tristan Mathew who completed the event in 2:23.21 to finish second.