BELIZE CITY, Sun. Mar. 18, 2018–31 Weekend Warriors lined up this morning for this 47-mile sojourn that took off at 8:15 a.m. from Leslie’s Imports thru Boom to the Northern Hwy Junction and back to Old Belize. Within 4 miles, a 5-man breakaway had been established with 3 Santino’s riders – Daniel Cano, Warren Coye and the Chief. Tagging along for the ride were Vallan Symns of Kulture and George Abraham, who could not hang on to the vicious pace of 30 mph being set by Daniel Cano and Warren Coye. He got dropped at Mile 8. However, the peloton was chasing fast and furious, and after 22 miles running, we were caught and all one big happy family again.
This togetherness did not last long, though, since 3 riders got away a mile later while the peloton was recuperating. They were Preston Martinez of Digicell, Sean Duncan of Smart, and Vallan Symns again. Team Santino’s having missed this break, I had no choice but to put Beto Acosta and Leroy Cassasola on the pace to run them down, while resting Warren Coye, Daniel Cano and myself. We were encouraged when, 8 miles into the chase we caught Sean Duncan, which now left only 2 riders up front.
Right before Prison, Warren Coye launched a vicious attack, breaking away from the peloton, followed by only Kaya Cattouse, Eddie Usher and me. A little later, Daniel Cano, our teammate, joined us solo. And the chase was on. Within 5 miles, we caught the front runners of Preston and Vallan, making it 7 of us, until Eddie Usher simply disappeared. That left 6 of us fighting for 5 positions.
I felt Team Santino’s was well positioned to take the big W; but, lo and behold, within 2 miles of the finish we were told the indomitable Warrior, Fitzgerald Palas Joseph, in his first race since he was knocked down by a bus 2 weeks ago, was bridging over to us along with Barney Brown. WHAT??? These 2 are the best sprinters in Weekend Warriors, so I urged this front group to make sure they didn’t catch us; but our cohesiveness had clearly come to an end, and with 1 kilometer to the finish, the unthinkable happened, as Palas and Barney caught us, and now there were 8 of us fighting for 5 positions.
As they caught us, Preston Martinez, without thought or ponder, laced a vicious attack and opened us some 50 meters. Kaya and I followed, while the rest stayed behind. With 300 meters to go, we had Preston within 25 meters, and Kaya tells me, “I’ll put you there, Chief.” I am feeling real good about this proposition; but no sooner does Kaya say this when, next thing I know, Palas “the Black Rocket” is passing us, with Warren in chase.
With 10 meters to the finish, both Palas and Warren pass Preston for 1st and 2nd, while Preston has to settle for 3rd, seeing victory snatched by the jaws of defeat in mere seconds. Kaya, Vallan and I came in for the next 2 remaining positions. I was christening my new green Giant TCR Advanced that I have aptly dubbed the Green Hornet, and so I had no choice but to sting Vallan Symns, taking 4th. Vallan was 5th, and Kaya was 6th, beating many of the big guns in her last prep race before her Cross Country next week Sunday. Barney Brown took 7th, and Daniel Cano got 8th place, the last position in this front group, but was clearly the most aggressive rider today.
The Chief was the 1st Category “B” rider; Sean Duncan of Team Smart won the field sprint for 9th and was the 2nd Category “B” rider; while Louis Usher of Santino’s took the 3rd and final “B” position.
Thanks, Warriors; and see you next week Sunday, same place, same time…