This report is courtesy of the TCI Cycling Federation
Team TCI Cyclists were victorious at their recent Tour of Grand Bahama competition, with Friedise Registre being crowned overall champion.
The event took place over two days - February 4 and 6, and covered three stages.
Turks & Caicos Islands won the Tour in 2019, taking home top honours in every category, and in 2020 and 2021, missed the overall victory, but took home a few 1st's and 2nd's in their respective categories. And in 2023, they looked to repeat 2019, with what was one of their strongest carried to the tour
This year’s team comprised of:
l Sean Rodgers - Tour winner for 2019, Pro 2 winner for 2020, and Pro 1 third place overall winner in 2021.
l DeVaughn Williams - Masters winner for 2020 and 2nd place Master winner in 2021.
l Tyrone Bishop - Past participant in 2019.
l Fredise Registre - TCI's 2022 National Champion: First time competing in the Tour.
l Karl Isaac - President of Turks & Caicos Cycling Federation and Team Manager and first time attending the Tour of Grand Bahama.
Stage one of the Tour is a 3.63 mile prologue. Heavy rains would make it doubtful that this tour would take place. But the rain stopped and the cyclists were called to the line. Team TCI was hoping to win the prologue, which would have given them the early lead. However, Fredise Registre was edged out only by seconds by Nassau's Felix Nealy.
With Fred having the better time out of Team TCI in the time trial, the team now had their first option to win the tour.
Stage 2, was the criterium, had to start slightly earlier than expected due to on and off rain.
Team TCI lined up on the road ready to execute their first game plan, to get Fred across the line first. It was cat and mouse in the beginning, but Team TCI, put their game plan into play, and controlled the race right to the end, getting their leader across the line first, followed closely by DeVaugn Williams who had the Masters category at that point, locked down.
Day 2, Stage 3, the final stage of the Tour, is an 80 mile road race for Pro one and two, and a 64 mile road race for Masters.
It seemed early that the race would not take place due to heavy rains once again. However, the rain held up, and the race got on the way.
Again the cat and mouse started, with everyone trying to see who would be the first to move. Then the attacks started. Attack from the left, attacks from the right. Counter attacks, rundowns, you name it, but Team TCI had a different game plan for this race and executed it to perfection.
Coming down to the finish for the Masters category, DeVaughn Williams led out by Sean Rodgers, took a fast sprint for almost a mile, demolishing his competition and winning the Masters category for the Tour. Ohh but he wasn't finished. Still being the second option for Team TCI and only seconds behind, Fred Registre and Felix Nealy (separated by 2 seconds) continued for the 80 miles, to add back to team TCI's arsenal.
With 13 miles to go, Felix Nealy decided, enough was enough, and it was time to go, as he launched a massive attack to get away, but he was quickly covered by Tyrone Bishop who took the assignment to cover Felix's attacks throughout the road race and did an amazing job at it.
DeVaughn was a little slow to respond but was able to catch up to Felix and Tyrone. Sean, after realizing that the race leader Fred had missed out on the break, got Fred on his wheel, hung his head down, and produced as much power as he possibly could, to get Fred to or as close as possible to what looked like an almost impossible distance.
Sean was able to bridge the gap within a few hundred yards of the three ahead, when like a slingshot, Fred shot from the back of Sean and closed the gap before the final turnaround and eight miles to the finish.
Fred Registre and Felix Nealy then started the game of cat and mouse, attacking each other and then trying to force each other in front as they drew closer to the finish line. But with the teamwork of DeVaughn Williams and Tyrone Bishop, the chances of Felix winning were slim, not to mention it was three against one at this point.
The attacks, the counterattacks, and the blocking, all increased as they drew closer to the line, and with a clear path created by his team, Fred sprinted to victory, making himself the winner of the 2023 Tour of Grand Bahama, and giving his team, Team TCI the victory.