As the curtain comes to a close on the Rivers State cycling calendar, the last monthly criterion took centre stage on Saturday in Port Harcourt. Male and female riders from across the State came to participate in the veteran, professional and junior category.
Bassey Nelson of Sharks racing club finished first, while Cyclotron racing club duo of Marvelous Sampson and Etieneibom Solomon finished second and third respectively in the professional male category.
In the female category, national junior champion Alice Miebaka Alaibi was the shining light of the day as she rode her way to a podium finish. Alaibi who won gold at the national youth festival in Ilorin last month,came second behind Rita Aggo while Rosemary Macus came third.
Winner of the professional category, Bassey Nelson who won his second race of the year, told aclsports how elated he was to win the 45km road race but admitted having a poor season as compared to the previous year.
“I feel very happy because we have a big race coming in Lagos this is the first step so that you can announce to your opponents what is coming ahead of them. I’ll go back to training and prepare for November 11, the Lagos city criterion race expecting riders from far and wide. We also have the national championship first week of December which I am the defending champion.”
“I have won twice and finished 4 times on the podium this year. I won’t be completely disappointed but a bit disappointed. You can have a year you blow everyone out and another year your body can’t take it but you have to get back to your rythym. I hope the remaining part of the year will be better than the previous months,” he said.
Nelson was on the podium five times and won six of the 10 monthly races in Port Harcourt last year.
“Equipment is the reason other riders have done better than me this year. Mine has not been in good shape and when there is no money, you can’t do anything. When it comes to sports, without cash or support, things will not go as planned. I am hoping our sponsors will keep supporting us with what they have promised, they’re not relenting and believing we keep making them proud,” Bassey explained reasons for his non-impressive season to Aclsports.com