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Davis wins criterium for infant son

Mathew Davis made his third straight victory in the Bank of Brookhaven Downtown Criterium extra special. Friday night’s champion became a father seven weeks ago and he dedicated the triumph to his infant son, Hendrix.

     “I wanted to win it for Hendrix,” said Davis, an oilfield employee who rides for the Shreveport, La.-based Team LaS’port. He smiled broadly after the intense, hotly-contested race, receiving congratulations from fellow competitors and well-wishers.

     The 59-minute race covered a .9-mile course through downtown Brookhaven. Forty-one riders competed in the MS Gran Prix’s opening test that was reserved for Category      1-2-3 racers.

     In a duplicate finish of last year, Davis outraced Patrick Allison of Birmingham Velo to the finish line. Woody Boudreaux of Herring Gas Cycling was third.

     Davis made a solo effort last year. This time he had four teammates helping him. They included David Potter, Grady Hodge, Jonathan Lang and Stephen Mire.”

     “(Teammates) worked their butts off,” said Davis. “They did a ton of work.”

     Davis recalled the frantic finish. “I was at third wheel and Patrick Allison went for the win. I was able to catch him in the last turn.”

     Allison, , 27, is in his fourth season of competitive bike racing. His day job is working for SteriCycle, a medical waste management company located in Birmingham.

     “Mat slipped past me again,” said Allison. “He’s a good friend. I think we averaged 28,” miles per hour.

     Boudreaux, racing for hometown favorite Herring Gas, said, “It was a very strong race. We had a sprint finish and I was able to hold on for third place. We had good teammates helping me.”

     Herring Gas captain and team founder Frank Moak of Brookhaven was the oldest racer in the criterium at 51 years of age. Moak said he was happy to see Boudreaux claim third place.

     “The field was much stronger this year,” said Moak. “I was pleased with the turnout and my teammate got third.”

     Moak said the remainder of the weekend races would be a challenge due to the strength of the field.

     Kenneth Bellau of Herring Gas led the criterium’s first lap. Teammate Jacob Brewer led the second lap.

     Racers were awarded $50 cash prizes on preme laps that were recognized by a race official ringing a bell. Among the preme winners were Brian Toone of Birmingham Velo, on the first preme and again on the third lap from the finish. Brewer won the second preme and Allison captured the third.

     In Saturday morning’s Mississippi Sports Medicine & Orthopeadic Center Road Race, starting at West Lincoln School, high level, Category 1-2-3 racers made the 27-mile route three times for a total of  81.6 miles, on a cool, breezy day.

     There was one mishap and it happened when a group of female racers rubbed wheels. The accident sent two riders to the hospital after a crash on Bogue Chitto road.

     “Somebody ran on top of a wheel and they hit the ground,” said race director Richard Barker. “We had the first responders there. I think we had a broken arm and a broken wrist, plus some road rub.”

     Barker said the weather conditions and race facilities were ideal “We had an incredible race Saturday morning.”