The fourth edition of the 2017 CC12 Criterium was held on Sunday 29th April 2017. Five titles were up for grabs; Juniors, Masters Female, Masters Male and Pro Male. The technical 2.9 circuit starting on the opposite side of dolphin estate provides all the thrills and spills of classic Criterium racing. The specialists love it, the pure road men, not so much! The crowds were out in force, the knowledgeable and the curious, shouting praises to all who participated. Racers couldn’t have asked for a perfect backdrop.
Akima Gideon took the junior title. Akima won a tight bunch sprint ahead of Bethel Temple and Oke Joseph.
Rita Miebaka (Sharks RT) won the female category in a bunch sprint ahead of Gloria (Sharks RT) and Tawa Yekin.
Nella (Cycology Riding Club) won the Female Masters race, riding away early with the pro female and juniors to finish minutes ahead of coach joy.
It was a sweep for Cycology CC in the Masters category. Alex won the Masters Male race in a bunch sprint just ahead of IB. Kunle Aluko came third. The Masters race was a Mano A Mano between AlexK and IB as only they remained with the main bunch after 6 laps. Second in the last race of the series, Garrick had been expected to challenge for the win but a crash left him unable to fulfill his potential. It was his second crash in as many races. “I think I’m being sabotaged by evil forces but nonetheless dry bones shall rise again and I’ll be back”, Garrick said.
The Pro Male race saw a lot of action. Riders from four nationalities were present. Most notable was Nathan, an ex Olympian all the way from Rwanda. Nathan lived to his hype, attacking several times but the hard men of CC12, Shark RT and Cyclotron weren’t having any of it. For them it was an opportunity to show the world they could hold their own against the best. Nathan was quickly brought back on every occasion but he gave the crowd a good show. There were also a few attacks from Michael (CC12) but Sharks RT had their eyes on a bunch sprint and never let him stay out for more than a few minutes. It eventually came down to a bunch sprint, with Timi Abaka (Sharks RT) coming in ahead of Haffiz Barkare (CC12) and Kalize Caleb (Sharks RT). It was a good day for Sharks RT as they won the best team prize.
Other winners on a great day of racing included Nathan Byukusenge – Most Aggressive, Innocent Michael – best bike, best dressed – King of the Axis Niyi. Niyi was the most color coordinated, he had a UV sleeve that matched his beard, a bright (pink) outfit with matching socks, and the panache of a world champion. A deserving winner no doubt.
The most important prize of the day, The Larnterne Rouge, was won by Ibrahim Nabal. He was involved in a crash with more than half the race covered, and like a true warrior quickly got on his bike to continue. He was however forced to stop by the race officials. He received the Larnterne Rouge prize for his efforts and received it with his head held high.
All in all, it was a good day on the bike. Everyone present was a winner. Honorable mention to Bright Future Cycling Club. They were present with about 10 riders aged 6-14. They hold great promise for pro cycling in Nigeria. Shout out to the two Cameroonian who came, legends they are.
The series continues next month, with the next mega-race slated to take place in 6 months, enough time for all to up their game.
Thanks to Faiz Imam, the Elder (IB) ‘Uncle’ Femi, Grand Master G, Chairman Niji and Deji for your support. Thanks to Cycology, they’ve offered assistance from race 1 of the series. Thanks to TL, Coach Blacky, oga Femi Thomas, Captain Eyo. Thanks to all the participants and spectators. A lot of people helped make the race a success, I apologize if I didn’t mention your name.
Have a great week.