Cycling: Mid-year tour-Celebration time: Rose makes it a double


Rose (third from right) rides on the Providence Highway during Saturday afternoon’s third stage

Trailing Moto Riders’ Bertrand Lesperance and Francis Louis, and St Francis teammate Graham Bristol by 12 seconds after the third stage, Rose was too strong for the rest of the field.

The fourth stage separated everyone and it was clear to see who was strong and who was not. The 28-year-old won in 16 minutes 24 seconds (16:24), 50 seconds faster than runner-up Lesperance (17:14), while Louis was third in 17:45.
“I knew I had a chance to do something in the fourth stage and I did it,” said Rose.
“It was hard work and I’m happy with my performance,” he added.

With a 38 seconds’ lead going into the 77.8km fifth and final stage, which ended with an uphill run at Bon Espoir on Sunday afternoon, Rose kept his close contenders in check. He crossed the finish line in fourth position in 2 hours 17 minutes 31 seconds (2h17:31), 1:20 slower than stage winner Richard Felix (2h16:11).

Holder of the 6.8km individual time trial hill climb record of 23:16 set on November 30 last year, Rose finished the total distance of 401.4km in a cumulative time of 11h01:51 to average 36.388km per hour over the tour.

This is his second tour win of the year after taking an emotionally inspired Labour Tour victory during the weekend of May 1-3.

Before last month’s win, Rose, one of the country’s top climbers, who made a comeback to the sport last year after a three-year self-imposed exile, had won the National Championship in 2002.

Lesperance finished second overall in the gruelling five-stage four-day tour on 1:30 behind (11h03:21) and cyclist of the year Louis took third place 1:37 back (11h03:27).

Louis won the first stage – an 85.2km circuit race – in 2h07:16, Felix triumphed in the second – a 114.4km circuit race – in 3h04:43, and Lesperance outsprinted Louis and Bristol to win stage three – a 116.2km road race – in 3h15:15.

St Francis’ Bristol (11h06:01) and Ricky Rosalie (11h21:15), Moto Riders’ Raoul Gomme (11h25:03), Felix (11h27:39) and Franky Baccus (13h07:35) occupied the remaining five positions in the final individual standings.
All cyclists received cash prizes for their efforts.

Moto Riders finished as best team with 33h30:25, and in second position 50 seconds back were St Francis with 33h31:15.
Among the sponsors for the Mid-year tour were Chez Deenu, Land Marine Ltd, Cable & Wireless and Air Seychelles.

G. G.

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