TEAM Coco’s Jamal John edged Team United’s Andrew Hicks across the finish line to win the Guyana Cycling Federation’s (GCF) 70-mile points race last Sunday.John’s time for the event attracted a mere 18 starters outside the Ocean View International Hotel, East Coast Demerara. The cyclists proceeded to Mahaicony before turning back to finish at the same location. John’s time was two hours 37 minutes 10 seconds.This was John’s second win in as many starts for the GCF’s 2017 season. His first was last month when he won a 75-miler in three hours 20 minutes 23 seconds. That event started on Homestretch Avenue in Georgetown, proceeded to Loo Creek on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway before turning back to finish at the place of origin.With the two victories to his name, John heads the points table with 30 points.Hicks earned 12 points for finishing second on Sunday and his teammate Raphael Leung placed third for 10 points.According to the GCF, the points accumulated will play a major role in the selection of local cyclists to represent Guyana at Regional and International levels when the time arises for such selection process.Veteran cyclist Junior Niles continued his fine form but had to settle for fourth place in the 70-mile race.The other top six places were occupied by Briton John, Leer Nunes, Dwayne Gibbs Jr, Jason Cameron, Eric Sankar and Everal Mundy respectively.
Seventy down, 18 and 44 to go.The Wisconsin men’s tennis team is on the hunt for more top-ranked opponents as it travels this weekend to face No. 18 Michigan, followed by No. 44 Michigan State. This will be the Badgers’ first conference road trip.Wisconsin is coming off of a solid weekend after a successful match against Northwestern. This first conference win of the season was especially eventful considering the No. 70 Wildcats are nationally ranked.Wisconsin has not yet faced either Michigan team in a conference match this year. However, the Badgers encountered both the Wolverines and the Spartans at the ITA Midwest Regional in October. Marek Michalicka, the overall No. 2 seed, dominated Michigan’s Justin Rossi (6-3, 6-2) and then took down Michigan State’s Denis Bogatov (6-4, 6-4).Not all Badgers were successful though. Michigan State’s John Stratton defeated Wisconsin freshman Alex Robles (6-1, 2-6, 6-2). The doubles duo of Robles and redshirt freshman Alex Teppert also struggled against the Spartans, losing to Bogatov and Ron Hulewicz.The Badgers have had a glimpse of both Michigan teams, but have not faced the full roster for either. Michigan sophomore Evan King will be appearing against the Badgers for the first time this year. However, what he brings to the court will be no surprise. King was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season and he has lived up to his reputation so far this year. He has built a 12-match win streak and is 14-1 in dual matches, all at No. 1 singles. In the ITA singles ranking, King ranks No. 21. King also appears with senior Jason Jung in doubles. The pair is 10-8 this season.Michalicka will have his hands full with King this weekend. Having been named Big Ten Freshman of the Year after his first collegiate season just as King was, Michalicka is familiar with the caliber of player it takes to earn such a high honor. Although King is the anticipated No.1 singles player, it was Jung who was victorious against Michalicka last season. Michalicka had been undefeated until the meeting with Jung when he lost 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. The Wolverines would go on to win the dual 4-3 when Wisconsin’s Billy Bertha fell to Chris Madden in a very close third set.Michalicka had better luck against Michigan State’s No. 1 player Hulewicz last season. To open the dual, Michalicka paired with Mortiz Baumann to defeat the Spartans Austin Brooks and John Stratton. Hulewicz did not play in a doubles match prior to facing Michalicka, however, his fresh legs were no match for the No. 21-ranked Wisconsin powerhouse. Aside from the strong Wolverine pair of Jung and King, Wisconsin’s duos hope to redeem themselves against Bogatov and Hulewicz. Against Northwestern this past weekend the doubles teams lost all three matches to the Wildcats. Each match was close, but not one of the pairs could pull out a win, putting all the pressure on the singles players. For UW, senior captain Michalicka won a hard fought 4-3 match.Wisconsin’s singles lineup has recently been almost swept by the University of California, Irvine. Wisconsin’s Fredrik Ask was the only player to have success in singles during the dual match.