Vanderpool leads Bajans in Argentina

Gregory Vanderpool was the highest-placed Barbadian finisher in the men’s elite road race, which concluded the Pan American Road Cycling Championships on Sunday in San Juan, Argentina.

The 25-year-old ended the gruelling 194-kilometre race in a commendable 29th place out of 85 starters. Teammates and brothers Joshua and Jacob Kelly finished in 43rd and 65th place, respectively.

The race took place in the mountainous region of San Juan, which is considered the capital of cycling in Argentina and located on its north-western border near to Chile’s capital and largest city, Santiago.

The conditions were well suited for hometown boy Emiliano Contreras to triumph in a photo finish over Ecuadorian Leonidas Novoa.

Sixto Nunez of Uruguay grabbed third spot and the final podium place. It was the second win in the space of a month for the 27-year-old Contreras, who added to his victory in the Argentina National Cycling Championships in April.

Team manager Livingstone Headley was proud of the team’s efforts against a tough field of competitors.

“It was by far the most gruelling Pan Am race they ever did, but it was a good race because everybody finished,” Livingstone said. “The guys put up good showing and a very good effort given the intensity of the course.”

Joshua Kelly, a professional cyclist signed to California outfit Miami Blazers, returned to the United States yesterday to compete in the Joe Martin Stage Race held in Fayetteville, Arkansas from May 19 to 22. (NM)

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