Ho, Sept. 12, GNA - Philip Rudolph of Nippon Cycling Club of Tema on Saturday won this year's National Cycling fiesta Criterion event covering a distance of 60 kilometres in a time of 1.42.47 seconds. Rudolph took home a giant trophy, a cash prize and products from Cowbell and BIC co-sponsors of the fiesta dubbed "La Route De Ho", sponsored under the Ghana-France Co-operation.
Emmanuel Wayo and Emmanuel Oboa both of All Stars Cycling Club and City Migro club both of Accra emerged first and second runners-up and received cash prizes and products from the sponsors. The fourth to 10th placed winners in the Criterion category also received cash and products from sponsors.
In the Individual Time Trial category, Ayitey Akoto of All Stars club came first in a time of six minutes nine seconds over a distance of four-kilometres followed by Joseph Annan of Guitten club of Accra in 6 min 18 secs with Richard Mawuko of River Park, Koforidua in the third position in a time of 6 min. 23 secs.
City Migro Club, Nippon Club and All Stars Club all from Greater Accra emerged in that order in the Team Time Trials, clocking 6 min. 03 secs, 6 min. 04 secs and 6 min. 14 secs. respectively.
Evelyn Agbenyega won the first position in the Women's race over a distance of 40 kilometres that featured mainly participants from Peki in the Volta Region in a time of 1. 58. 60 secs. followed by Rabiatu Musah and Doreen Havor in 1. 58: 61 secs and 1. 58: 64 secs respectively and received cash prizes and BIC and Cowbell products.
A total of 17 Clubs, 15 from Ghana and two from Togo took part in the event involving 97 cyclists.
Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho District Chief Executive said that the over-reliance on popular sports at the expense of the lesser ones like cycling, judo and swimming in the country should be discouraged and called for the diversification of sports development.
He paid glowing tribute to the French Embassy for its attempt to make cycling popular and acknowledged their technical, moral and financial support that resulted in the organisation of the event in Ho. Miss Mailis Borohest, a representative from the French Embassy said the time has come to make cycling a household event in Ghana and that is why the event was staged outside Accra for the past three years. She said she was optimistic that the enthusiasm displayed at the event would be sustained and pledged the support of the Embassy towards the general development of the sports in the country.
Mr Peter Affont, Chairman of the Ghana Cycling Association said cycling apart from being an alternate and rewarding activity for physical development it was a source of livelihood in some countries that needs to be replicated in Ghana.
A seven-member Volta Regional Cycling Association, chaired by Nana Ofori Nyarko was officially inaugurated.