Alonzo Henry has won St Helena’s first ever mountain bike competition after snatching the lead on a challenging section of the course.
He and Rémi Bruneton were the first pair away from the start at Millennium Forest, with the Frenchman setting a fast pace over the five-mile route to Cox’s Battery and back.
St Helena Wirebird reports that Rick Walters, Ross Leo and Michael Davis, starting slightly later, were hot on the leaders’ heels.
“At the bottom of the valley there is a dangerous drop zone so all riders were advised to get off their bikes and walk this area,” says the Wirebird report. “It was here that Alonzo Henry took advantage and got into lead position and continued to hold his position to the finish line at the Millennium Forest.”
He finished in a time of 27.01 minutes, with a clear 48-second lead over Rémi. Ross Leo finished third in 28.10.
Sixteen riders in all took part, all finishing in well under an hour. The remaining 13 were: Rick Walters, Nigel McMichael, Lizemarie Robbertse, John Woolacot, Michael David, Hannah Lowe, Louis Allen Youde, Deon Robbertse, Michael Moors, Derrick Alexander, Dennis Leo and Steven Theron.
Riders were briefed by Merrill Joshua, the island’s tourism projects manager and an adventure sports enthusiast.
The National Trust ran a cafe, SanRay’s sold food and soft drinks, and Leroy Fowler dispensed pop corn and candy floss. Various family activities were run by Creative St Helena and the National Trust. A children’s cycling trail was set up through the Millennium Forest.
Alonzo’s prize was a trophy and a GoPro camera – popular for filming adventure activities. To see what they can do, have a look at these films by island cameraman Julian Beard: