In The Spotlight
MARIGOT—Velo Club de Grand Case’s (VCG) Adélio Brooks cemented his status as the top Junior rider in the region after winning the 2017 Guadeloupe Junior Championship in Abymes, a feat that was celebrated with a big welcome for his return at Grand Case Airport on Friday and a reception to follow soon.
It was a dramatic turnaround for Brooks who suffered in the Nagico 2 Nagico race last weekend but despite his disappointment that race prepared him well.
Brooks, riding on his own for VCG as Alban Clerc was racing in Europe, outclassed the competition to win the 122k race in three hours 26:54 coming from behind in the final sprint to cross the line first ahead of Wendy Jacquet-Crédites and Anthony Damas in third.
It is the first time since VCG’s Sylvère Dulorme won the championship as a senior in 1986 that a Junior Championship title has been won by St. Martin. Alban Clerc won the Cadet title (under 16 years) in 2014.
The race consisted of two climbs that had to be ascended 11 times. Brooks came into his own around the 40 kilometre mark when the peloton reeled in a breakaway group, and at 20 kilometres from the finish he joined a six-man breakaway that took the lead all the way to the finish.
“I felt good in the race. I had the legs,” said Adélio amid a scrum of family and supporters at the airport. “The breakaway group was three minutes ahead and I thought we had lost them but we caught them back. I got into a group of six riders with 20K to go. I’m a good sprinter and at the finish it worked out perfectly.”
Said VCG President St. Elmo Arnell: “I couldn’t be happier today. After 31 years we are champion of Guadeloupe again. It was a job well done and well prepared. Adélio rode a beautiful race.”
Added Réne Arnell: “Adélio rode like a veteran, he didn’t panic. And at the finish he mastered the final sprint, letting the others sprint first and then coming from behind to catch them. He’s only in his first year as a Junior so we hope this win will give him a lot of confidence to go much further.”
Adélio’s mother said she could not have wished for a better Mother’s Day present.
“When he’s determined, he can be very strong mentally,” she said. “He used to do track and field until one day he asked me to buy him a bike. I’m very proud of him. From the beginning he really wanted to achieve something.”
There was more success for VCG when Jayson Rousseau came third in a major race in Europe.
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