April 23, 2008 – As dawn broke over St. Croix on Sunday, 28 anxious cyclists saw the outline of a hideous monster backlit by the rising sun. The riders were all aware that very shortly, they would be required to slay this "Beast," one of the most famous climbs in triathlon, but on this day, the purview of pure bikers.
The Beast stretches its back 550 vertical feet into the sky in a scant .7 of a mile, with an average grade of 14 percent, with some sections reaching over 20 percent. The climb is steep the entire way, offering the challengers no opportunity to recover, only to suffer.
The Elite riders would be required to make the climb three times during the course of three laps, hence the name of the race, the Beast Cubed. The race started off with a 2- mile flat run-up to the hill, included the climb, and the riders worked their way back to the North Shore Road via Midland Road, for a total lap distance of 14 miles, and a race distance of 42 miles.
Robert Bumann took an early lead during the first ascent and quickly opened up a two-minute gap, which he easily held to the finish. His time of 2:07:08 bested second-place Sure Brown's and third-place John Riggs' times of 2:09:17.
The Expert category saw some controversy, as putative winner John Frongillo was disqualified for partnering with a rider from another category, thereby, receiving illegal assistance. The victory was awarded to Dwight Sergeant, who out sprinted Apolinar Acevedo and DeWayne Smith in a two-loop time of 1:26:51.
Most of the Sport class riders were making their first competitive ascent of the Beast and were by far the most nervous group. They were required to complete one lap, and newcomer Chris Cockrell captured the first win of his young career, in 44:12. Ernst Schuster out sprinted Ferdi Abraham for second, 12 seconds back.
Only one Women's category had the guts to take on the hill, as Darynnete Acevedo finished in 55:42.
Ironically, the next event on the race calendar is also Beast related. In conjunction with the upcoming St. Croix Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, the Virgin Islands Cycling Federation will be hosting the Challenge the Beast Race, on Wednesday, April 30. The race is a pure hill climb, and the riders will be asked to sprint from the bottom to the top. The race will start at 5:30 p.m., and spectators are welcomed.
Form more information, call 773-8456.
Elite 42 miles_____1_____2______3_____Total
1. Robert Bumann 40.34 43:15…43:19 2:07:08
2. Sue Brown 42:20..43:34..43:23 2:09:17
3. John Riggs 42:20 43:48 43:09..2:09:17
4. Cumber Greaux 44:03 48:34 46:04 2:17:41
Glenn Massiah..43:56 .47:41..46:04..2:17:41/DQ
Expert 28 miles
1. Dwight Sergeant…42:27…44:23…..1:26:51
2. Apolinar Acevedo…42:40…44:12…1:26:52
3. DeWayne Smith…44:06…42:48…1:26:54
4. Jonathan Cruz…42:40…44:21…1:27:01
5. Dale Scope…45:03…49:48…1:34:51
6. Richard Jeanpierre…45:02…52:58…1:35:00
7. Marius Modeste…46:23…50:23…1:36:46
8. Miguel Cruz…46:23…50:26…1:36:49
John Frongillo…42:27…44:24…1:26:51 DQ
Sport 14 miles— total
1. Chris Cockrell– 44:12
2. Ernst Schuster– 47:24
3. Ferdi Abraham– 47:24
4. Mark Kennedy– 47:24
5. David Nowack– 48:49
6. Bevern Sage– 48:49
7. Brad Chaffee– 48:53
8. Fred Flint– 50:09
9. Edwin Cruz– 50:58
10. Peter Duthie– 55:02
11. Jon Mahony– 56:37
12. Mervin Mills– 59:11
Women 14 miles
1. Darynnete Acevedo– 55:42