BVI cyclist makes his mark with U.S. racing team

By BVI Platinum

Darel Christopher jr, team Prima Tappa on the top step at the University of Georgia  Spring Breakaway race. Photo: Ariel Patrice Burgess

Darel Christopher jr, team Prima Tappa on the top step at the University of Georgia Spring Breakaway race. Photo: Ariel Patrice Burgess

Darel Christopher Jr. continues to progress well in his efforts to represent the Virgin Islands on the world stage and was recently selected as a member of a racing team in the United States, which will allow him to gain much needed experience.

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, Christopher officially started his category 2 cycling season for the first time in the U.S on team Prima Tappa p/b Mansfield Oil. This season opener was held in South Georgia. Christopher finished in 15th place and one of his teammates finish 6th.

On Sunday, March 15, the team competed in North Georgia and Christopher was victorious, giving him his first victory for the 2015 season.

All of this is a sign that Christopher is beginning to make his mark on the cycling scene in the United States where he has resided since July 2013 in hopes of reaching the professional level of the sport.

With his passion and goal to become a professional cyclist, he started competing in competitions in the USA as a category five cyclist. Ever since then, he has shown steady progress in his training.

About two months ago, Christopher advanced to category two which serves in the capacity of a semi-professional cyclist. He is currently working on advancing to category one on the professional level with a signed contract.

Darel Jr. continues to represent this Territory and is determined to make it to the top with the help and strength of God.

The BVI Cycling Federation led by Darel’s father, Darel Christopher Sr., noted that transitioning from a junior cyclist to a category A cyclist in the BVI Cycling Federation and now to his current position, he has shown that once you are determined and you work hard, you can achieve the unthinkable.

For those who are interested in following Darel Jr. log unto www.usacycling.com and enter is name, Darel Christopher, to get information on the races he has participated in.

Orano Andrews wins BVICF time trial

Orano Andrews. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Orano Andrews. Photo: Broadsword Communications

The BVICF held the first time trial of the cycling season on Sunday, March 15.

Four riders competed to win the title of BVICF time trial champion. The race started at Palestina and headed west to the junction at Frenchman’s Cay before returning to Palestina for the end for the course.

Race results:
1st place         Orano Andrews                     26.36
2nd place         Barry Jones                            29.51
3rd place          Chris James                            30.51
4th place          Status Talian                         33.49

The BVICF thanks all who came out to assist and support the BVICF race and riders. The next BVICF race will be held on April 19, 2015 starting at Slaney to loop round Sea Cows Bay.

Cyclists Andrews and Blackmore win Jason Bally Memorial Race

Orano Andrews. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Orano Andrews. Photo: Broadsword Communications

The BVI Cycling Federation hosted the 2014 Jason Bally Memorial Race on October 5. The annual race, now in its 14th year, commemorates cyclist, Jason Bally who was killed 15 years ago.  Visiting cyclist from Antigua, Timothy Thomas was one of 16 cyclists who participated in the different age groups and categories that formed  part of this year’s event.

Orano Andrews and Sally-Ann Blackmore were the respective winners in the Men’s and Women’s categories. Kelichi Bolondia won the Juniors’ race while Anthony Spencer came first in the Mountain Bike category. Phillipe Leroy was forced to drop out of his category following an injury sustained during the race.

The federation thanked Hon. Myron Walwyn, the Minister for Education, Culture and Sports for his attendance and for his brief remarks at a candle light service for Jason held before the race.

President of the BVI Cycling Federation, Darel Christopher Snr wished Leroy a speedy recovery and thanked the supporters and cyclists in the event. The president went on to acknowledge the BVIOC for its support saying, “We would also like to thank the B.V.I Olympic Committee for their monetary contribution to aid in hosting the race.”

The next race will be held in 2015 and all cyclists are encouraged to participate.

The BVI Cycling Federation invites anyone interested in cycling to become a member of the federation. Interested persons may call 543-1526 Darel Christopher, President or speak to any of the other executive members.

Race results:

Cat A
1st   Orano Andrews   3hrs 15 mins
2nd  Antonio Andrews 3hrs 20 mins
3rd   Timothy Thomas 3hrs 20mins
4th  Shaguil Samuels 3hrs 24mins
5th    Statius Talium     3hrs 24mins
Philippe Leroy   —- (Dropped due to Injury)

Cat B
1st   Adrian Dale 2hrs 8mins
2nd  Andrew Willimas 2hrs 22mins

Women
1st  Sally Blackmore 2hrs 8mins
2nd  Kay Reddy         2hrs 8 mins

Juniors
1st Kelichi Bolondia 1hr 13mins
2nd Deraun Noel       1hr 13mins
3rd  John Cullimore   1hr 48min

Mountain Bike
1st Anthony Spencer 1hr 1min
2nd Rusty Burns  1hr 17mins
3rd  Jim Cullimore 1hr 17mins

Virgin Islands Cyclist Is Creating A Storm In The Category 3 Division

By: Charlie Jackson
Daryl Christopher JrDaryl Christopher Junior is chomping at the bite to get the 2014 Cycling season going as he has much to look forward to and much to achieve now that he has reached the status of a USA Cycling Category 3 ranked Rider.

Christopher Jr. began his journey towards the Pro Ranks, not only on the roads of Tortola and the Caribbean, but also larger races in the United States over the last couple of years

“I started in Cat 5, which is basically for Amateurs,” explained Christopher Junior, “In Cat 5 I did about 5 races, coming 6th in the first one and then won the rest. I was moved up to Cat 4 and also had success there.”

After about 6 more races in Category 4, he achieved Cat 3 status, which is an equivalent to being semi pro.

“Most of the races have different levels, pro 1, pro 2 and pro 3, so I’m at the lowest level of being a professional, but joining a development team which has ex-professional rider, Nathan O’Neil, will be a great help in moving up.

Christopher Junior’s season starts by the end of February and one race he is looking forward to is a stage race in Wisconsin, which lasts for 11 days with 9 criteriums and a couple of time trials.

“I love stage races, just being able to ride for two or three weeks is what I like. I will be doing more training for stage races. After a race in Georgia I will be heading to Wisconsin and hope to do well at that one.”

Christopher Junior, who has the likes of Peter Saga, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins as role models, has become much more focused in doing well and being a success.

“It’s a different environment, a different atmosphere; everyone works together and wants to see each other do well. You have to eat proper, sleep and get to training on time, everything plays a part.”

Whilst Christopher Junior might not be able to race again on the roads of Tortola, he would still like to be a part of representing the Territory in events like the Caribbean Championships, but it will all come down to his Coach as to whether time would allow it.

Dad, Daryl Christopher Senior is very proud of his son and will be hoping to watch some of the upcoming races.

“I knew he was always dedicated to the sport, always focused and am thankful now that he is in the right environment and surrounded by the right people, in terms of coaching, so we can see his development in the sport. As soon as the team gets going, maybe like mid season, I will be hoping to go watch one of the big events, like Wisconsin.”