Sunday, January 21, 2018

Bramble stars at Grand Prix

 Keron Bramble is certainly making a name for himself.

The Rig Tech Sonics rider picked up where he left off last week, his impressive form leading him to victory in the keirin event on opening night of the Easter Grand Prix at Arima Velodrome, as he edged out the more experienced Quincy Alexander and Njisane Phillip.

Bramble, beat Phillip last week in the T&T Olympian’s own event, the Njisane Three-Day Cycling Festival, edging the latter in the sprint quarter-finals. On the final day of that event, he also pipped eventual sprint winner, Czech Tomas Babek in the seven-lap event.

This time around, Bramble, hurtled towards the line with Alexander, of Team DPS, outside him and Phillip (in T&T colours) further right, and kept his nerve when it counted as perhaps little more than an inch separated the first two. Alexander was second in the narrowest of finishes, and Phillip, just off in third.

Fourth was Justin Roberts, in his first year as a senior sprinter.

But Alexander and Phillip showed their superiority in the Flying 200, the qualifier for the sprints. Alexander blazed to 10.888 seconds on the Velodrome’s concrete track to top that event, with Phillip not far behind in 10.948.

Jude Codrington (T&T, 11.447 seconds), Diego Pena (Slipstream, 11.536) and Roberts (11.596) rounded out the top five in that order, while Bramble (11.671) was sixth.

In the match sprint quarters, Alexander and Phillip qualified without competing as their challengers did not start the race, while Codrington edged Bramble for the third slot. Phillip and Codrington were set to duel last night in the semis, while Alexander was slated to meet teammate Roberts for the other place in last night’s finale, after the younger rider disposed of Pena in his quarter-final.

T&T junior rider Keiana Lester (Bike Smith) took the women’s keirin, ahead of Dahlia Palmer (Jamaica) and cousins Jodi Goodridge and Aziza Browne (both of Arima Wheelers), second to fourth, in that order.

That was after Lester clocked 13.399 in the Flying 200, the second fastest time. Daniela Gaxiola (Mexico) topped that list with a  13.151 effort, while third to fifth were Goodridge (13.897), Palmer (13.917) and Browne (13.933).

Lester will match up against Goodridge after they beat the Arima Wheelers pair of Joy Abigail John and Denise Francis respectively, while Browne edged Palmer, and Gaxiola progressed without a ride after her opponent, Teneil Campbell, did not start.

Gaxiola and Browne will do battle for a final berth.

Yoeri Havik (Netherlands) took  the seven-lap international race, with Adam Alexander (T&T, second) and Daniel Martinez (Colombia, third) also on the podium.

Jamol Eastmond (Barbados) won the men’s ten-lap, with Martinez second and Jamaican Marloe Rodman third.

In the final two international events, Gaxiola took the Open Ladies six-lapper, while Darren Matthews (Barbados) won the final event over 25 laps. Dario Pagliaricci (Argentina), Esteven Cuesta (Colombia) and Yoeri Havik were second to fourth respectively.

The Grand Prix will conclude today from 5 p.m., with action shifting to Skinner Park, San Fernando.