BELIZE CITY, Sat. Feb. 3, 2018– After a week of constant rain and very little training, the sun finally peeped out this morning, and so did 42 riders for today’s race from Leslie’s thru Boom to the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway Junction and back to OLD BELIZE for the finish. We chose this finish because the road is smooth, wide and straight; but most importantly, much safer, as the finish at Leslie’s is in terrible shape after all this rain. The 42 riders featured 25 Elites, 12 Weekend Warriors (WW), and 5 Juniors.
At 7:19 a.m., we were off. Everyone seemed to be full of energy after a week of plenty rest, so the attacks were immediate and hard. Within a few miles, about 15 “heads of state” of the Belize cycling world separated themselves from the peloton, and would never be seen again. I got a puncture at Mile 10, so became an official and service man to the entire peloton.
On the return journey, the configuration started to change, and right after Brandon won the 2nd station prize at the Prison, 5 riders imposed their will on the rest of the front runners and separated themselves. Ironically, there were 4 sprinters in this 5-man break. They were Belize’s best in Brandon, “Peenie,” Nissan and “Popie,” as well as strong-man Kent Gabourel. Knowing he was among sprinters, Kent did the smart thing, and with 1 K to go at Barton Creek Bridge, dropped a cruel attack and formed a nice gap.
JawMeighan Jr., as I call Peenie, who is looking and riding more like his father with each passing month, was the first to catch Bob some 25 meters before the finish, and went straight past him, easily winning today’s race. Brandon caught Bob 5 meters before the line for 2nd, and Nissan caught him at the line for 3rd. Bob had to settle with 4th place after a gallant effort, while Popie rounded out the top 5. However, Bob was given the 1st WW “A” prize and the WW “A” station prize as well, so he did not leave empty handed. The remaining riders of the original break then rolled in – in small bunches. Special mention to both Greg Lovell, who rode well after a long hiatus off the bike, and to Palas, who got away from the peloton with some 4 Elite riders. These 5 rolled to the line a couple minutes ahead of the main peloton, where the 1st “B” was Ruthford Cunningham, and the first Junior was Windell Williams, Jr.
Due to the Digicell Tour that starts next week Friday, February 9, there will be no Chief’s Thursday or Saturday Race next week; but we resume on Thursday and Saturday, February 15 and 17, when we will be racing both days. Thanks for a good race, guys!