BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Apr. 6, 2017–It has become the sporting rivalry that fuels the interest and excitement in women’s cycling in Belize over the past couple years, since 5-time Women Cross Country (WCC) Champion, Shalini Zabaneh retired from the sport after 2014.
It used to be Kaya vs Shalini that cycling fans looked forward to; but now it is Kaya vs Alicia that headlines the sport of women cycling. Their names have become synonymous with championship women cycling in Belize, as in most races either one or the other is expected to take the top prize. Alicia was the 2015 Women Cross Country Champion; Kaya is the reigning 2016 Women Cross Country Champion. When Alicia won in 2015, Kaya was second; when Kaya won in 2016, Alicia was second. This year, 2017, Alicia has been on a tear, dominating Kaya in in both the Krem New Year’s Classic and the Belmopan Classic on March 12.
Of course, it will not be a two-woman race. There are other formidable contenders – the Chavarria sisters, Patricia and Paulita; as well as Alicia’s 3 Belize Bank Swoosh teammates, Alicie King, Taralee Ordonez and Kaylyn Gillett; the Lovell sisters, Gina and Gabrielle; and two American female riders are expected in this year’s Women Cross Country.
According to the Technical Guide released by the Cycling Federation of Belize:
“The 28th Annual Women Cross Country Classic is… to be held on Sunday, 9th April, 2017. The race will start at the Queen Elizabeth Park in San Ignacio at 8:00 a.m. and will finish at BTL Park using the route of the George Price Highway to Belize City at the Round-a-bout at Central American Blvd, over the Belcan Bridge, unto Princess Margaret Drive and finishing at the BTL Park, for approximately 73 miles.”
The record of 3:07:29 (3 hours, 7 minutes, 29 seconds) was set by Mexican rider of C-Ray Team, Brenda Aguayo in 2007.