Sports — 31 January 2018 — by Santino “Chief” Castillo
40-mile Clásica de Candelaria in Valladolid, Mexico – January 28

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan.  29, 2018– January 28, 2018 – 40-mile Clásica de Candelaria in Valladolid Mexico, featuring some 30 riders in the 50 to 59 year-old “B” Category Race.

Congratulations to Julio Dzul, one of the main organizers, as over 200 riders in all the different categories from all over Mexico showed up for this race. From Belize, it was me and my two teammates, Beto Acosta and Omar Gomez, Belizean, Mexican, as well as Juan Jose Cuellar, all who did a stellar job making sure a Santino’s rider was always in the break.

Before I go on with this short story, let me say that this week the cycling community suffered a terrible loss in the death of Alfonso Morales, who died as a result of a freak accident in his bakery in Sandhill. As a consequence, I dedicated this race to the Morales family in Sandhill for this good and humble man. He will join the Cycling Team in Heaven of JawMeighan, Alpheus, Danga, Ariel, Glen O’Brien and Elbert Pope, among other great Belizean cyclists who have passed on.

This race was 4 laps on a 10-mile Circuit which is “smooth as a baby’s butt.”

And they are off!

My teammate, Cuellar attacked immediately, even hurting me. However, after many attacks and breaks, much of which consisted of a Santino’s rider in the break, the field was cut to about 15 of the strongest riders. With 1 lap to go, Team Santino’s was cognizant that Chak Medina, the champ of this region, who has more victories on his resume than you can count, had not attacked yet.

With about 8 miles to go, HE DID. And, boy, was it a vicious one! He got away SOLO, and Beto, Cuellar and Omar of Team Santino’s got on the front to bring him back; and even though it was 3 against one, it took close to 3 miles to catch him. As we caught him, the next best pacer in this field, Gimer Mendoza attacked and got away SOLO. By now I realized my 3 teammates were pretty much fried, so I realized I had to go; so I attacked, and although it took me close to a kilometer, I bridged the gap to Gimer. When I caught him, we had a nice gap on the peloton, and we both ran the remaining 5 or so miles to the finish.

Gimer, knowing I am a sprinter, did the smart thing and attacked me with about 500 meters to the finish. I congratulate this warrior for his tenacity, but had to represent the Jewel; and so I did what I love to do… SPRINT, and pulled out my pistolas. =ØÞ

Thanks to my teammates, fans and the sponsors of this race, and the beautiful town: Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico.

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Deshawn Swasey

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