Sports — 06 January 2018
Krem New Year’s Classic 2018 winners

Giovanni Lovell, first time Elite Champion; Alicia Thompson, 4-peat Female Champion; Shawn Armstrong, first-time Junior Champion

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Jan. 2, 2018– A light, cool northerly wind, following a couple early morning showers, accompanied bright sunshine and blue skies by mid-morning yesterday, when the 28th running of the Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic lit up the Philip Goldson Highway, “from the (Santa Elena, Corozal) border to the Boulevard” in Belize City, culminating with a burst of adrenaline and fan excitement as men/women and machines hurtled down the C.A. Boulevard home stretch from Belcan Bridge towards the Krem banner in front of Santos Diaz & Sons, where each of the three race categories was decided in those final few seconds of dramatic sprints to the finish line.

Despite all the negatives in the air from continuing social violence in the early hours before dawn on New Year’s Day, the Krem Classic, on Krem Radio and TV, captivated the nation from mid-morning till its culmination in the early afternoon, providing some joy and celebration and hope for everyone in 2018.
Elite/U23/Masters

The big Elite/U23/Masters category of the Krem Classic departed at 9:00 a.m. from the Santa Elena border with some 68 riders “in the saddle” for the 96-mile journey, all fully conscious of the seven $1,000.00 station prizes along the way, interspersed with many other attractive station prizes, before the championship trophy and $2,500.00 prize at the finish. It made for a very aggressive ride, and a herculean challenge for any one rider to dominate for prolonged periods.  The effect of those monster station prizes can be seen from a review of the names posted by the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB) as winners at these various points along the way.  In fact, only one rider, Oscar Quiros, was able to grab two of the $1,000.00 station prizes, with five others garnering one each; while the eventual winner of the Krem Classic, Giovanni Lovell, did not bother to claim a single station prize in the race. He ended up taking the biggest prize of all.   Included in the field of 68 that started were 11 Mexicans and 2 riders from the USA. (No Guatemalans were allowed in this year’s race, by special ruling of the race organizers, Krem Radio, in light of the on-going Guatemalan Government’s official disrespect of Belize’s sovereignty with their insulting map that refuses to recognize our western border.)

Elite/Masters Station Prizes

Here is how the station prizes were distributed:
#1 Yayir de Jesus Godinez Jimenez of Cancun took the first one at San Joaquin Village, Mile 79 ¾ (1 night accommodation with lunch, sponsored by Cahal Pech Village Resort).
#2  Oscar Quiros of Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit grabbed the $1,000.00 prize at San Roman Village Government House, Mile 72 (sponsored by Freetown Drug Store).
#3 & #4  Donizeti Vasquez of Merida took the next $1,000.00 prize at Shell One Stop O.W. Town (sponsored by Hon. Johnny Briceño & Jaime Briceño), as well as the 1 young bull + $200.00 at the Orange Walk Toll Bridge (sponsored by Cuello’s Distillery in memory of Froyland Hill Cuello).
#5  It was then Edgar Nissan Arana of Westrac Alliance who claimed the $1,000.00 prize at Smart Tower, Mile 46 ¾ (sponsored by Smart – Bringing People Together).
#6  American John Delong of Hearts Racing Club took the $200.00 at Bakers Ranch, Mile 44 (sponsored by La Popular Bakery).
#7  Edgar Nissan Arana of Westrac Alliance was back in front to seize the $200.00 prize at Mile 35 (sponsored by brothers Habet Ltd.).
#8  A new name, Phillip Leslie of Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit stepped up to grab the next $1,000.00 prize at BTL Tower, Mile 32 (sponsored by DigiCell).
#9  Oscar Quiros of Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit was back on the pace at the Crooked Tree Junction to take the $200.00 prize (sponsored by Eustace Dawson Auto Sales).
#10 to #13  Mexican Albert Coache of Quintana Roo swept the next four straight station prizes, including      #10 at Mile 23 ¼ (2 computerized eye exams + 20% discount on eyeglass/frames, sponsored by Dr. Amin Hegar & Belize Vision Center); #11 at Maskall Junction, another $1,000.00 prize (sponsored by Hon. Edmond Castro); #12 at Maxboro Junction, a $100.00 prize (sponsored by Marconi Leal, Sr.); and #13 at Mile 13 ½, a sheep valued at $100.00 (sponsored by Mark Velasquez & Family).
#14  Last year’s champion, Ron Vasquez of Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit made a strong move to grab the $1,000.00 prize at National Concrete Products Compound, Mile 11 (sponsored by National Concrete Products).
#15  Joshua Fuller, also of Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit swiped the $50.00 prize at Lake Garden Junction (sponsored by Finesse Advertising).
#16 to #18  Oscar Quiros of Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit was in front for this short stretch, to claim the $1,000.00 at Bowen & Bowen Cut-off, Mile 9 (sponsored by Powerade), $50.00 at Low’s Supermarket (sponsored by Low’s Supermarket), and $50.00 worth of fuel at Ladyville Shell Gas Station (sponsored by Ladyville Shell Gas Station).
#19  Ernesto “Peenie” Bradley of Digicell-4G LTE then took the lead at Airport Junction to earn two round-trip tickets to San Pedro (sponsored by Maya Island Air). #20 to #28  The next 9 station prizes on the way to Belize City were all taken by Masters cyclist Robert Liam Stewart (unattached), who led a break-away bunch of 8 cyclists. His pickings included, #20 at Entrance to Over-Haulover Bridge, two round-trip tickets to Caye Caulker (sponsored by Ocean Ferry); #21 at Westrac Pedestrian Ramp, a gift package (sponsored by Westrac); #22 at Grace Kennedy Compound, 1 case Mackeson (sponsored by Grace Beverage Center); #23 at Bilal Residence Mile 3, a large BBQ grill (sponsored by Bilal Welding Service); #24 at the 1st Roundabout, 4 haircuts (sponsored by Supercuts Barber Shop) and 2 months weightlifting & toning (sponsored by Neal & Gordon Gym); #25 at Truck Parts of Belize Compound, a tool set (sponsored by Truck Parts of Belize); #26 at Ramos Residence (after Courts), $100.00 (sponsored by the Ramos Family); #27 at the entrance to the City (Overpass), $100.00 (sponsored by Santos Diaz & Sons, in memory of Alpheus Williams), a butane refill value $25.00 (sponsored by Brown’s Butane Gas Service), and two round-trip tickets to Caye Caulker (sponsored by San Pedro Belize Express); and #28 at Belcan Bridge, a gift package (sponsored by San Cas).

Then, from the top of Belcan Bridge, all hell broke loose, as the accompanying 7 cyclists joined in the big sprint to the finish line, with all top 8 finishers clocking a time of 3:31:07, and Giovanni Lovell of DigiCell separating himself from the pack by some four bicycle lengths or more, to claim his first Krem New Year’s Day Classic Championship. Despite leading the peloton all the way from Haulover Bridge, the veteran Masters cyclist, a naturalized Belizean, Robert Liam Stewart still managed to secure a third place finish. And consistent contender, American John Delong finished strong in second place
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Elite/Masters Finishing Order/Prizes

Of the 68 starters, 28 riders did not finish (DNF) the race within the official time limit of 30 minutes after the winner, and 4 others were disqualified (DQ) for one infraction or the other.  The official finishing list by rank includes 36 riders as follows:  Champion – Giovanni Lovell (Digicell-4G, 3:31:07; $2,500.00 + Round Trip ticket to USA, courtesy American Airlines + Trophy); 2nd USA John Delong (Hearts Racing Club, st; $1,500.00 + Trophy); 3rd Robert Liam Stewart (unattached, st, $1,000.00 + Trophy; 1st Masters – $500.00 + Trophy); 4th Edgar Nissan Arana (Westrac Alliance, st, $500.00); 5th MEX Donizeti Vasquez (st, $350.00); 6th Quinton “The Baddest” Hamilton (Card’s Heating AC, st, $275.00; 2nd Masters – $200.00); 7th Oscar Quiros, Jr. (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, st, $200.00); 8th Ernest “Peenie” Bradley (DigiCell-4G, st, $175.00); 9th Keion Robateau (Westrac Alliance, 3:31:38, $150.00); 10th Joshua Fuller (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, 3:31:40, $100.00); 11th Thereque Leslie (unattached, st, $75.00); 12th MEX Yayir de Jesus Godinez Jimenez (Team Cancun, st, $75.00); 13th Joel Adan Borland (DigiCell-4G, st, $50.00); 14th Dwight Lopez (Bel-Cal, st, $50.00; 3rd Masters – $100.00; 1st Masters Cat 4/5 – $500.00 + Trophy); 15th MEX Andres Jesus Solis (st, $50.00); 16th Richard Santiago (Santino’s, st, $25.00); 17th Brandon Cattouse (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, st, $25.00); 18th Ron Vasquez (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, st, $25.00); 19th Phillip Leslie (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, 3:34:15, $25.00); 20th Geovanni Jose Choto (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, st, $25.00). Other official finishers outside the prize bracket included 21st MEX Jonathan Albert Coache Reyes (Quintana, 3:35:35); 22nd MEX Rudy Rincon (Quintana, st); 23rd Joslyn Chavarria, Jr. (Digicell-4G, 3:38:11); 24th Pedro Choto (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, 3:41:07); 25th Kaydine Pinello (AKL/Powerade, st); 26th USA Anthony Taylor (3:42:29); 27th Henry Moreira (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, st); 28th Leroy “Casa” Casasola (Santino’s, st); 29th MEX Jose Anastacio Priego Paz (Team Cancun, 3:48:26); 30th Anthony Rosado, Jr. (unattached, 3:50:30); 31st MEX Luis Jose Avila Balam (Team Cancun, st); 32nd Shane Vasquez (Smart/C-Ray/Western Spirit, 3:51:02); 33rd Gilberto Acosta (Santino’s, st; 2nd Masters Cat 4/5 – $200.00); 34th Brandon Morgan (Digicell-4G, st); 35th MEX Jose Luis Baez (Team Cancun, st); and 36th Mark Staine (Benny’s Megabytes, 3:53:46).

The youngest rider to complete the Elite/Masters Race, Anthony Rosado, Jr. (unattached), who finished 30th, received a Trophy, courtesy Ariel Rosado Foundation.

Female Race

A small field of 6 female cyclists, including one foreigner, Mexican Miguelina Lopez, took off from Orange Walk Town at 9:30 a.m. for the 52-mile journey to Belize City. They comprised of defending champion Alicia Thompson (Belize Bank Swoosh); her young teammates Kaylynn Gillett and Malika Nunez (Belize Bank Swoosh); Kaya Cattouse (Smart/C-Ray); Taralee Ordonez (Kulture Megabytes); and Mexican Miguelina Lopez (Team Yucatan).

Despite the small number of competitors, this race was perhaps the most keenly observed and contested, as perennial rivals, defending champion Alicia Thompson and former champion Kaya Cattouse, who had clipped Alicia a week earlier in the Christmas Eve “BCC Ham & Turkey Race,” were joined by Miguelina in a dramatic dash for glory in the last few hundred meters of the race.

Perhaps employing a strategy to conserve her strength for the final sprint, Kaya had only taken 1 station prize, while Alicia racked up 9 station prizes along the way. Nevertheless, Alicia had enough in the tank to barely clip Kaya, reportedly by about 10 inches, at the finish line. 3 cyclists approached the Belcan Overpass, but Miguelina, in her first race in the Jewel, unfortunately stumbled in navigating the hard curve at the turn towards the Belcan Bridge approach, and lost valuable ground to Alicia and Kaya, who surged ahead to finish one-two.

Female Station Prize Winners

#1 and #2  Young Taralee Ordonez of Kulture Megabytes took these first two prizes: #1 at the Orange Walk Toll Bridge was $150.00 (sponsored by Cuello’s Distillery Ltd., In memory of Froyland Cuello); and #2 at Carmelita Double Bus Shed was $100.00 + 2 Quarts of Wine (sponsored by Carmelita Village Council). #3 to #7 were all swept by Alicia Thompson of Belize Bank Swoosh. These were: #3 at Bainsville Mile 37, $100.00 (sponsored by Bain and Family); #4 at Crooked Tree Junction, comprising $100.00 (sponsored by Hon. Edmond Castro), 1 Bucket Wine (sponsored by Inland Island), and Cell Phone (sponsored by VIP Wireless); #5 at Mile 20, $200.00 (sponsored by brothers Habet Ltd.); #6 at Maxboro Junction, $100.00 (sponsored by Hon. Edmond Castro); and #7 at Burrell Boom Cutoff, 1 night hotel accommodation, access to swimming pool and kayaks (sponsored by Black Orchid Resort). #8 at Pointsettia Street Entrance was grabbed by Taralee Ordonez, $500.00, (sponsored by Hon. Beverly Castillo).
#9 & 10 Alicia returned to take #9 at Low’s Supermarket, $50.00 (sponsored by Low’s Supermarket), and #10 at Shell Ladyville, $50.00 worth of gas (sponsored by Ladyville Shell Gas Station).
#11  at Airport Junction saw Kaya Cattouse of Smart/C-Ray stepping up to take this one, 2 computerized eye exams + 20% discount on eyeglass/frames (sponsored by Dr. Amin Hegar & Bze. Vision Center).
#12  at Haulover Bridge, was taken by Alicia, two round-trip tickets to Caye Caulker (sponsored by Ocean Ferry).
#13 to #16  These station prizes were all taken by Mexican Miguelina Lopez.  #13 at Grace Kennedy Compound was a gift package (sponsored by Grace Beverage Center); #14 at Bilal Residence Mile 3 was a medium BBQ grill (sponsored by Bilal Welding Service); #15 at Ramos Residence (after Courts) was $75.00 (sponsored by Ramos Family); and #16 the Entrance to the City (Overpass) included 2 months weightlifting & toning (sponsored by Neal & Gordon Gym), two round-trip tickets to Caye Caulker (sponsored by San Pedro Belize Express), and 4 haircuts (sponsored by Supercuts Barber Shop). Winning this last station prize may have caused Miguelina to swerve too far out on the curve, jumping the “island” that separates traffic going up and coming down the Belcan Bridge approach, effectively putting her out of contention for the championship.
#17 & #18  Alicia took #17 at the foot of the Belcan Bridge, a gift package (sponsored by San Cas), as well as #18 at the Finish Line, a special Trophy (sponsored by Matilda Usher).

Female Finishing Order & Prizes

All 6 starters completed the Female Race, with Alicia Thompson entering the record books as the first and only 4-peat Krem Classic Champion, having posted victories in 2015, 2016, 2017 and now 2018. (She is now tied with Shalini Zabaneh with 5 total Krem Classic victories.)

Here are the 2018 Female Krem Classic results: Champion – Alicia Thompson (Belize Bank Swoosh, 2:43:30, $1,000.00 + Round Trip ticket to USA courtesy American Airlines + Trophy); 2nd Kaya Cattouse (Smart/C-Ray, st, $300.00 + Trophy); 3rd MEX Miguelina Lopez (Team Yucatan, 2:43:35, $200.00 + Trophy); 4th Taralee Ordonez (Kulture Megabytes, 2:43:49); 5th Kaylynn Gillett (Belize Bank Swoosh, 2:43:49); and 6th Malika Nunez (Belize Bank Swoosh, 3:-01:49).

The prize for the youngest Female at the Finish Line, a Trophy donated by the Ariel Rosado Foundation, was awarded to the champion’s teammate, Kaylynn Gillett of Belize Bank Swoosh.

Junior & Youth Race

The Juniors & Youths Krem Classic 2018 started with 29 cyclists some 5 minutes after the Female Race, travelling the same course from Orange Walk Town to Belize City, where 23 riders completed the journey within the official time limit. The race was dominated by two cyclists, Shawn Armstrong, Jr. (unattached) and Eric Heusner (Marie Sharp’s), who shared all the station prizes along the way.

Juniors Station Prizes

#1 at Crooked Tree Junction (33 miles), 2 computerized eye exams + 20% discount on eyeglass/frames (sponsored by Dr. Amin Hegar & Belize Vision Center), was taken by Shawn Armstrong, Jr. (unattached).
#2 at Sandhill Junction, $100.00 (sponsored by Hon. Edmond Castro) also went to Shawn Armstrong.
#3 at Maxboro Junction, $100.00 (sponsored by Hon. Edmond Castro) was grabbed by Eric Heusner (Marie Sharp’s).
#4 at Low’s Supermarket, $50.00 (sponsored by Low’s Supermarket) belonged to Shawn Armstrong, Jr.
#5 at Shell Ladyville, $50.00 worth of gas (sponsored by Ladyville Shell Gas Station) was also for Shawn Armstrong, Jr.
#6 at Over-Haulover Bridge, two round-trip tickets to Caye Caulker (sponsored by Ocean Ferry) was won by Eric Heusner (Marie Sharp’s).
#7 at Go Wireless, a Cell Phone (sponsored by Go Wireless Direct), was for Eric Heusner (Marie Sharp’s).
#8 at Westrac Compound, a gift package (sponsored by Westrac) was taken by Shawn Armstrong.
#9 at the 1st Roundabout consisted of 4 haircuts (sponsored by Supercuts Barber Shop), 2 months of weightlifting, training and toning (sponsored by Neal & Gordon Gym), and was taken by Eric Heusner (Marie Sharp’s).
#10 at Truck Parts of Belize Compound, a tool set (sponsored by Truck Parts of Belize) was grabbed by Shawn Armstrong.
#11 at Ramos Residence (after Courts), $75.00 (sponsored by Ramos Family) also went to Shawn Armstrong.
#12 at Entrance to Belize City (Overpass) included $100.00 (sponsored by Brothers Habet Ltd.) and two round-trip tickets to Caye Caulker (sponsored by San Pedro Belize Express) went to Eric Heusner (Marie Sharp’s).
#13 at Belcan Bridge, a gift package (sponsored by San Cas) also was taken by Eric Heusner.

Junior/Youth Finishing Order & Prizes

It was a two-man dash to the finish line, with Shawn Armstrong, Jr. emerging victorious, and Eric Heusner settling for second place. A chase group of 5 appeared a couple minutes later, with Shawn Codd outsprinting the others to secure third place.

Finishing order was:  Champion – Shawn Armstrong, Jr. (unattached, 2:21:00, $1,000.00 + Trophy); 2nd Eric Heusner (Marie Sharp’s, st, $300.00 + Trophy); 3rd Shawn Codd (Michael Pate’s Depredadores, 2:23:11, $200.00 + Trophy); 4th Wilhelm Coye (unattached, st); 5th Gian Lino (Westrac Alliance, st); 6th Tevin Chaplin (Marie Sharp’s, st); 7th Derrick Chavarria (Chavarria Cycling, st); 8th Jerell Wade (Marie Sharp’s, 2:23:23); 9th Tyler Gillett (Surge/D&A Construction, st); 10th Kevin Gentle (Michael Pate’s Depredadores, st); 11th Wendell Williams, Jr. (Westrac Alliance, 2:23:46); 12th Jyven Gonzalez (st); 13th Malike Casey (unattached, 2:24:00); 14th Gian Lovell (Digicell-4G Jr., 2:24:04); 15th Joseph Tillett (Chavarria Cycling); 16th Alex Zulrta (Michael Pate’s Depredadores); 17th Christian Avila (Michael Pate’s Depredadores); 18th Derick Bonell (Uprising Super Riders); 19th Kediel McKenzie (Marie Sharp’s); 20th Fernando Rosado (Michael Pate’s Depredadores); 21st Cody Flowers (Uprising Super Riders); 22nd Randy Azueta (Surge/D&A Construction); and 23rd Henry Li (Michael Pate’s Depredadores).

The Youngest Cyclist at the Finish Line, Derrick Chavarria, received a Trophy donated by the Ariel Rosado Foundation.

Give it up for the sponsors

Prize fighting is for the prize, and so is cycle racing; and so we must give big respect to all station prize sponsors, large and small; and also the official race sponsors which made the 2018 Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic a big success, namely:  Official Communication Sponsor – DigiCell; Belikin, The Beer of Belize; American Airlines; Travellers Liquors; Social Security Board; Office of the Prime Minister; Buddy Brown International; Heritage Bank Limited; PUMA; OCEANA; Atlantic Bank; and Rodla Construction Company Limited.

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