Saint Lucian Shines In Martinique Cycling

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

by Terry Finisterre

Three Saint Lucian riders have returned from a four-day race in Martinique, one of them getting a stage medal in his division.

A total of 44 riders from continental Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean began the inaugural Grand Prix Montagne Pelée, Land of Champions on Thursday, 13 June 2024. Seven of the riders competed in the Under-19 division.

A student of Entrepot Secondary, Denver Alphonse was the lead competitor from Saint Lucia. The young man has set his long-term sights on competing internationally for Saint Lucia, and one day taking part in the world-famous Tour de France.

To that end, he has competed heavily in local races, as well as having ridden in the Dominican Republic and Martinique.

He returned to Martinique last weekend for the Grand Prix Montagne Pelée.

The event, which covered 252.43 kilometres, was organized by the Regional Cycling Committee of Martinique and the Mel Makrel Association under the auspices of the French Cycling Federation.

A time trial on the opening day encompassed the route Macouba to Ajoupa-Bouillon, 13.24 km. On Day 2, Stage 2 ran from Saint-Pierre to Fonds-Saint-Denis, 79.72 km. A mountainous circuit between Saint-Pierre and Morne-Rouge was covered six times before arriving at Fonds-Saint-Denis.

The third stage was between Marigot and Morne-Vert, 80.64 km long. And the fourth, final, longest, and most gruelling leg from Ajoupa Bouilon to Morne-Rouge lasted 89.4 km. 

Alphonse, just 16 years of age, took 24th overall. The La Caye, Dennery teen took third place in the U19 division on the final stage, and was awarded the bronze medal for that leg of the race. Overall, he finished fourth in the U19 category.

Eltus Joseph, another Saint Lucian from La La Caye, was 33rd overall. Gillian Moses from Babonneau also took part, but was unable to complete the race due to cramps.

Rwandan native Moïse Mugisha of Pédale Pilotine in mainland France was the overall winner, taking three out of four stages.

In the U19 category, Jefferson Jacquet of USL (France) won, followed home by Néhémy Jean Baptiste from ECD/TCF (France).