Tight racing: Darren Glasford will have his work cut out for him in defending his Sinclair Packwood title. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
Tight racing: Darren Glasford will have his work cut out for him in defending his Sinclair Packwood title. *Photo by Ras Mykkal

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23: Can Darren Glasford win back-to-back Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race titles?

The Winner’s Edge rider will be put to the test in what is arguably the hardest event to predict the outcome on the Bermuda Bicycle Association calendar.

A total of 68 riders are expected to take the start line of the 11.9 sprint from Somerset to the Cedar Avenue finish line outside the Leopard’s Club.

Greg Hopkins won the first race after it was renamed for cycling stalwart Packwood, but other memorable winners include Jeff Payne’s triumph in 1997 at the age of 58 or Neil de ste Croix breaking away from the pack to a startling solo finish in 2007.

Glasford’s teammate Mark Hatherley is a contender for the title as well as teenage sensation Dominic Mayho from Team Madison.

BBA president Peter Dunne said: “While the most visible of local races, the relatively short distance makes this event one of the most difficult to win.

“But in this event all participants are looking to unseat the favourites and the technical nature of the course can produce some unexpected results.”

He said it is typically a bunch finish at the end with less than a bike length victory often the outcome.

Nicole Mitchell is seeking to defend her women’s title but will be challenged by about a dozen riders in 2012 due to the growing popularity among females.

The women will start 45 seconds after the men to give them added recognition.

And while the women contest their podium positions the Junior Men will see a very interesting battle. Vashon Cann (Madison), Daniel Oatley (Fast Forward Bicycle Works), Justin Ferreira (Winners Edge), Mark Godfrey (Winners Edge)and Deshi Smith (Team Tokio) all have a shot at the victory while Nathaniel Hartwig (Winners Edge), Daelan Richardson (Team Tokio) and Mustafa Ingham (Crime Stoppers) could upset the tables.

Racing is scheduled to begin from Somerset at 8:50AM with the leaders arriving in Hamilton just around 9:15.  Live radio coverage will be broadcast by MIX 106 FM with commentary by Martin Bolton.

The presentation of the awards will take place in Bernard Park immediately following the conclusion of the race and the guest presenter will be John “Buddy” Ford, the winner of the first race in 1987.