Rivers State cyclist, Favour Fashanu, at the weekend raced 2hours 41 mins 41.9second to win the first MASVI/ Owan West Cycling Tournament in Edo State.
The rookie 17-year old cyclist dusted some of the country’s top stars in the 100km race that flagged off at Sabongida Ora and terminated at Sobe.
Delta State’s Garba Aminu was second in 2hours 41 minutes 42.06 secs while aero State cyclist Daniel Osakpolor was third in 2hours 42 mins 10.06 secs.
In the 80km female race, Ese Ukpeseraye of Delta stole the limelight from four others after reaching the final stretch to the finish in 2 hours 29 minutes 26.84secs.
Another Delta athlete, Glory Odiase was second in 2 hours 36 minutes 0.06 secs while Adejoke Durogbade of Oyo State placed third in 2 hours 36 minutes 0.20secs.
Winner of the men’s race, Fashanu, admitted the terrain was the most challenging in his seven years cycling career.
“It is the toughest course I have competed in since 7 years I started cycling. It was tougher than the last race I competed in late last year in Kwara where I placed third,” gushed Fashanu to reporters as he struggled to catch his breath after the race.
He admitted that his plan worked perfectly for him even as the victory has given him the confidence of podium placement in the road race of the National Sports Festival taking place in Benin City later this month.
“ I am looking forward to winning gold at my first NSF in Edo. Now I can perfectly say that I test my race plan here in this MASVI/Owan West Cycling Tournament,” Fashanu reassured his fans.
Speaking at the closing ceremony on Saturday, Chairman of Owan West LGA, Hon. Frank Ilaboya, was full of praises for the Chief Executive Officer of MASVI Group, Hon Sunday Ajayi and his wife Anita for sponsoring the maiden Owan West cycling race.
“Hon Sunday Ajayi of MASVI has shown that he is a patriotic son of Owan West and that he is ready to invest in the youths of the area. We urge other wealthy sons and daughters of Owan West to emulate him as we strive to take our local government area to the next level in line with the vision of our pragmatic governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu,” stressed the council boss who was elated that nine states participated in the race.
He disclosed that Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State was set to become the first out of the 774 councils in the country to have a sports policy.
Ilaboya a veteran sports journalist cum football administrator said his council would next week launch what he calls FACTT, an acronym for Football, Athletics, Cycling and Table Tennis.
“As a local government we have identified the sports where we have comparative advantage and we are launching a sports policy where all these would be spelt out and the road map to achieve our goal.
“We would focus on tournaments for kids in primary school and junior secondary school between the ages of 6 and 13.
“In the next few years anybody looking for a kid footballer should come to Owan West same for anybody looking for a rising table tennis or Cyclist star,” Ilaboya concluded.
Host Edo, Delta, Rivers, Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Anambra and Cross River participated in the maiden Owan West Cycling Tournament sponsored by MASVI Group.