Iten-based rider Geoffrey Langat clocked 2:05.00 to win Kenya Pipeline 120km elite category cycling race that also featured Ugandans.
The event sponsored by Kenya Pipeline Company and organised by the Kenya Cycling Federation also served as a qualifying round for the Commonwealth Games set for next year in Australia.
Langat, who trains at the Kenya Riders Camp, beat Alex Kipruto (2:07.00) to second, while Joseph Githambo Kamau completed the top three places in 2:07.02. Adrew Kimutai (2:09.00) and Cornelius Kipkemboi (2:09.02) followed in that order as Kenyans swept the top five positions.
The top Ugandan was Samuel Sabwanyi in position 11. Langat, who finished fourth overall during the Machakos Tour, opened a gap after 40km around the Iten viewpoint and never looked back.
Gathimbo, who was an early pacesetter tried to keep track, but could not match Langat, who was in a class of his own towards the hilly Tambach course.
He then maintained the gap to the finish line at the Pipeline depot in Eldoret.
"I am happy with the win as I focus on making the team to the Commonwealth Games," Langat said.
Langat is headed for Europe in two weeks for build up ahead of the Commonwealth Games. The Kenya Riders Association coach Ciaran Fitzpatrick said the races in Europe will serve as build up for the team.
"We intend to take our team to Europe so that they can be exposed and be able to compete in Australia during the Commonwealth Games," he said.
In the ladies' category, Nancy Akinyi carried the day after clocking 2:45.00 in the 100km duel. Ruth Wairimu was second in 3:08.00, while Dorine Lwimbali of Uganda finished third in 3:11.00. The Kenya Pipeline managing director, Joe Sang, said the race was in line with the company's objective of being a socially responsible citizen.
"We are extremely excited to add cycling race to our stable of sporting activities as we seek to empower communities who live around our area of operations. In particular, it is gratifying to use these initiatives as platforms to support and nurture the immense sporting talents." [Standard Sports]